HOME

TheInfoList




A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a
eutheria Eutheria (; from Greek , 'good, right' and , 'beast'; ) is the clade consisting of all Theria, therian mammals that are more closely related to Placentalia, placentals than to Marsupial, marsupials. Eutherians are distinguished from noneuther ...

eutheria
n
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
constituting the
taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and the habit of achieving a ...
Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...
mammals, which adapted to living in the trees of
tropical forest The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is ...

tropical forest
s: many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging environment, including large brains,
visual acuity Visual acuity (VA) commonly refers to the clarity of vision Vision or The Vision may refer to: Perception Optical perception * Visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment (biophysical), ...
,
color vision Color vision, a feature of visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally ...

color vision
, a
shoulder girdle The shoulder girdle or pectoral girdle is the set of bones in the appendicular skeleton which connects to the arm on each side. In humans it consists of the clavicle The clavicle, or collarbone, is a slender, S-shaped bone approximately 6 i ...
allowing a large degree of movement in the shoulder joint, and dextrous hands. Primates range in size from
Madame Berthe's mouse lemur Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (''Microcebus berthae'') or Berthe's mouse lemur is the smallest of the mouse lemurs and the smallest primate in the world; the average body length is and seasonal weight is around . ''Microcebus berthae'' is one of m ...
, which weighs , to the
eastern gorilla The eastern gorilla (''Gorilla beringei'') is a critically endangered species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A spe ...
, weighing over . There are 376–522
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
of living primates, depending on which classification is used. New primate species continue to be discovered: over 25 species were described in the 2000s, 36 in the 2010s, and three in the 2020s. Primates are classified as the
strepsirrhine Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini (; ) is a suborder of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting ...

strepsirrhine
s () and the
haplorhine Haplorhini (), the haplorhines (Greek language, Greek for "simple-nosed") or the "dry-nosed" primates, is a suborder of primates containing the tarsiers and the simians (Simiiformes or anthropoids), as sister of the Strepsirrhini ("moist-nosed"). Th ...
s (lit. 'simple-noses'). Strepsirrhines include the
lemurs Lemurs ( ) (from Latin ''lemures'' – ghosts or spirits) are wet-nosed primates of the superfamily SUPERFAMILY is a database and search platform of structural and functional annotation for all proteins and genomes. It classifies amino acid se ...

lemurs
,
galagos Galagos , also known as bush babies, or ''nagapies'' (meaning "night monkeys" in Afrikaans), are small Nocturnality, nocturnal primates native to continental, sub-Sahara Africa, and make up the family (biology), family Galagidae (also sometimes ...
, and lorisids, while haplorhines include the
tarsiers Tarsiers are haplorrhine primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class ...
and the
simian The simians, anthropoids or higher primates are an infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemi ...

simian
s (
ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientis ...

ape
s and
monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structur ...

monkey
s). Simians (lit. 'snub-noses') can be further reduced to the
platyrrhine New World monkeys are the five families of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class ...
s (lit. 'flat-noses'), or New World monkeys, and the
catarrhine The parvorder Catarrhini , catarrhine monkeys or Old World anthropoids are the sister group to the New World monkeys, the Platyrrhini. The Platyrrhini emerged within "monkeys" by migration to South America from Afro-Arabia (the Old World), likel ...
s (lit. 'narrow-noses'), which are
Old World monkeys Old World monkey is the common English name for a family (biology), family of primates known wikt:taxonomy, taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae . Twenty-four genus, genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old ...
and apes (including
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s). Fortymillion years ago, simians from Africa migrated to South America presumably by drifting on debris, which gave rise to the five families of New World monkeys. The remaining simians diverged into apes (Hominoidea) and Old World monkeys (Cercopithecoidea) approximately twenty-fivemillion years ago. Common species that are simians include the (
Old World The Old World consists of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% o ...
)
baboon Baboons are primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first fro ...

baboon
s,
macaque The macaques () constitute a genus (''Macaca'') of sociality, gregarious Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The 23 species of macaques inhabit species distribution, ranges throughout Asia, North Africa, and (in barbary macaques i ...

macaque
s,
gibbon Gibbons () are ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern sub ...

gibbon
s, and
great ape The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
s; and the (
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: " capuchins,_ capuchins,_howler_monkey">howlers_and_ capuchins,_howler_monkey">howlers_and_squirrel_monkey">howler_monkey.html"_;"title="Capuchin_monkey.html"_;"title="6c:_from__...
)_Capuchin_monkey">capuchins,_howler_monkey">howlers_and_squirrel_monkeys. Primates_have_large_brains_(relative_to_body_size)_compared_to_other_mammals,_as_well_as_an_increased_reliance_on_visual_acuity_at_the_expense_of_the_sense_of_ capuchins,_howler_monkey">howlers_and_squirrel_monkey">howler_monkey.html"_;"title="Capuchin_monkey.html"_;"title="6c:_from__...
)_Capuchin_monkey">capuchins,_howler_monkey">howlers_and_squirrel_monkeys. Primates_have_large_brains_(relative_to_body_size)_compared_to_other_mammals,_as_well_as_an_increased_reliance_on_visual_acuity_at_the_expense_of_the_sense_of_olfaction">smell,_which_is_the_dominant_sensory_system_in_most_mammals._These_features_are_more_developed_in_monkeys_and_apes,_and_noticeably_less_so_in_lorises_and_lemurs._Some_primates_are_Trichromacy.html" ;"title="olfaction.html" ;"title="squirrel_monkey.html" ;"title="howler_monkey.html" ;"title="Capuchin_monkey.html" ;"title="6c: from ...
) Capuchin monkey">capuchins, howler monkey">howlers and squirrel monkey">howler_monkey.html" ;"title="Capuchin_monkey.html" ;"title="6c: from ...
) Capuchin monkey">capuchins, howler monkey">howlers and squirrel monkeys. Primates have large brains (relative to body size) compared to other mammals, as well as an increased reliance on visual acuity at the expense of the sense of olfaction">smell, which is the dominant sensory system in most mammals. These features are more developed in monkeys and apes, and noticeably less so in lorises and lemurs. Some primates are Trichromacy">trichromats, with three independent channels for conveying color information. Except for apes including humans, primates such as both
prosimian Prosimians are a group of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago ...
s and
monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structur ...

monkey
s have tails. Most primates also have
opposable thumbs The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb i ...

opposable thumbs
. Many species are
sexually dimorphic Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics, particularly characteristics not directly involved in reproduction. The condition occurs in most animals and some plants. Differences may in ...
; differences may include
muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly cat ...

muscle
mass,
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
distribution,
pelvic The pelvis (plural pelves or pelvises) is the lower part of the trunk, between the abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in o ...
width, canine tooth size, hair distribution, and coloration. Primates have slower rates of development than other similarly sized mammals, reach maturity later, and have longer lifespans. Depending on the species, adults may live in solitude, in mated pairs, or in groups of up to hundreds of members. Some primates, including gorillas, humans, and baboons, are primarily
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...
rather than
arboreal Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. Locomotion or Loco-Motion may refer to: Motion * Motion (physics) *Specific types of motion ** A ...
, but all species have adaptations for climbing trees (in humans this can be seen, for example, in sports like
climbing Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency re ...

climbing
and
parkour Parkour () is a training Image:Christer Fuglesang underwater EVA simulation for STS-116.jpg, An astronaut in training for an extravehicular activity mission using an underwater simulation environment on Earth. Training is teaching, or developi ...

parkour
). Arboreal
locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. Locomotion or Loco-Motion may refer to: Motion * Motion (physics) *Specific types of motion ** Animal locomotion *** Terrestrial locomoti ...
techniques used include leaping from tree to tree and swinging between branches of trees (
brachiation Brachiation (from "brachium", Latin for "arm"), or arm swinging, is a form of arboreal locomotion Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. ...
); terrestrial locomotion techniques include walking on two limbs (
bipedal Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion Terrestrial locomotion has evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from ...
ism) and modified walking on four limbs (
knuckle-walking Knuckle-walking is a form of quadrupedal The zebra is a quadruped. Quadrupedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where a tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrap ...
). Primates are among the most social of animals, forming pairs or family groups, uni-male harems, and multi-male/multi-female groups. Non-human primates have at least four types of
social systems In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal Social structure, structure of role and status that can form in a small ...
, many defined by the amount of movement by adolescent females between groups. Most primate species remain at least partly arboreal: the exceptions are humans, some other great apes, and baboons, all of which left the trees for the ground and now inhabit every continent. Close interactions between humans and non-human primates (NHPs) can create opportunities for the transmission of
zoonotic diseases A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen (an infectious agent, such as a bacterium, virus, parasite or prion) that has Cross-species transmission, jumped from an animal (usually a vertebrat ...
, especially virus diseases, including
herpes Herpes simplex is a viral infection A viral disease (or viral infection) occurs when an organism's body is invaded by pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy ...
,
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
,
ebola Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a viral hemorrhagic fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a diverse group of animal and human illness A disease is a particular abnormal c ...

ebola
,
rabies Rabies is a viral disease A viral disease (or viral infection) occurs when an organism's body is invaded by pathogenic viruses, and infection, infectious virus particles (virions) attach to and enter susceptible cells. Structural characteri ...
, and
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living or ...

hepatitis
. Thousands of non-human primates are used in research around the world because of their psychological and physiological similarity to humans. About 60% of primate species are threatened with extinction. Common threats include
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
, forest fragmentation,
monkey drive A monkey drive is an operation where large numbers of wild monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies li ...
s, and primate hunting for use in medicines, as pets, and for food. Large-scale tropical forest clearing for agriculture most threatens primates.


History of terminology

The English name ''
primates A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...

primates
'' is derived from
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
or French , from a noun use of Latin , from ('prime, first rank'). The name was given by
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
because he thought this the "highest" order of animals. The relationships among the different groups of primates were not clearly understood until relatively recently, so the commonly used terms are somewhat confused. For example, ''ape'' has been used either as an alternative for ''monkey'' or for any tailless, relatively human-like primate. Sir
Wilfrid Le Gros Clark Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark (5 June 1895 – 28 June 1971) was a British anatomist Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...
was one of the
primatologists Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse Academic discipline, discipline at the boundary between mammalogy and anthropology, and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, ...
who developed the idea of trends in primate evolution and the methodology of arranging the living members of an order into an "ascending series" leading to humans. Commonly used names for groups of primates such as ''
prosimian Prosimians are a group of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago ...
s,
monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structur ...

monkey
s,
lesser ape Gibbons () are ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...
s'', and ''
great ape The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
s'' reflect this methodology. According to our current understanding of the evolutionary history of the primates, several of these groups are
paraphyletic In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...

paraphyletic
, or rather they do not include all the descendants of a common ancestor. In contrast with Clark's methodology, modern classifications typically identify (or name) only those groupings that are
monophyletic In cladistics for a group of organisms, monophyly is the condition of being a clade—that is, a group of taxa composed only of a common ancestor (or more precisely an ancestral population) and all of its lineal descendants. Monophyletic grou ...

monophyletic
; that is, such a named group includes ''all'' the descendants of the group's common ancestor. The
cladogram A cladogram (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

cladogram
below shows one possible classification sequence of the living primates: groups that use common (traditional) names are shown on the right. All groups with scientific names are
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
s, or monophyletic groups, and the sequence of scientific classification reflects the evolutionary history of the related lineages. Groups that are traditionally named are shown on the right; they form an "ascending series" (per Clark, see above), and several groups are paraphyletic: * Prosimians contain two monophyletic groups (the suborder Strepsirrhini, or lemurs, lorises and allies, as well as the tarsiers of the suborder Haplorhini); it is a paraphyletic grouping because it excludes the Simiiformes, which also are descendants of the common ancestor Primates. * Monkeys comprise two monophyletic groups, New World monkeys and Old World monkeys, but is paraphyletic because it excludes hominoids, superfamily Hominoidea, also descendants of the common ancestor Simiiformes. * Apes as a whole, and the
great apes The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
, are paraphyletic if the terms are used such that they exclude humans. Thus, the members of the two sets of groups, and hence names, do not match, which causes problems in relating scientific names to common (usually traditional) names. Consider the superfamily Hominoidea: In terms of the common names on the right, this group consists of apes and humans and there is no single common name for all the members of the group. One remedy is to create a new common name, in this case ''hominoids''. Another possibility is to expand the use of one of the traditional names. For example, in his 2005 book, the
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
palaeontologist Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current Geologic time scale, geological epoch. ...
Benton wrote, "The apes, Hominoidea, today include the gibbons and
orangutan Orangutans are great apes The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relati ...

orangutan
... the
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
and
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
... and
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s"; thereby Benton was using ''apes'' to mean hominoids. In that case, the group heretofore called ''apes'' must now be identified as the non-human apes. , there is no consensus as to whether to accept traditional (that is, common), but paraphyletic, names or to use monophyletic names only; or to use 'new' common names or adaptations of old ones. Both competing approaches can be found in biological sources, often in the same work, and sometimes by the same author. Thus, Benton defines ''apes'' to include humans, then he repeatedly uses ''ape-like'' to mean 'like an ape rather than a human'; and when discussing the reaction of others to a new fossil he writes of "claims that ''
Orrorin ''Orrorin tugenensis'' is a postulated early species of Homininae Homininae (), also called "African hominids" or "African apes", is a subfamily of Hominidae. It includes two tribes, with their extant taxon, extant as well as extinct species: 1 ...
'' ... was an ape rather than a human".


Classification of living primates

A list of the families of the living primates is given below, together with one possible classification into ranks between order and family. Other classifications are also used. For example, an alternative classification of the living Strepsirrhini divides them into two infraorders, Lemuriformes and Lorisiformes. * Order Primates ** Suborder
Strepsirrhini Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini (; ) is a Order (biology), suborder of primates that includes the Lemuriformes, lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Fauna of Madagascar, Madagascar, galagos ("bushbabies") and pottos from Fauna of A ...

Strepsirrhini
: lemurs, galagos and lorisids *** Infraorder
Lemuriformes Lemuriformes is an Order (biology), infraorder of primate that falls under the suborder Strepsirrhini. It includes the lemurs of Madagascar, as well as the galagos and Lorisidae, lorisids of Africa and Asia, although a popular alternative taxon ...
**** Superfamily ***** Family
Cheirogaleidae The Cheirogaleidae are the family of strepsirrhine primates containing the various dwarf and mouse lemurs. Like all other lemurs, cheirogaleids live exclusively on the island of Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the ...
: dwarf lemurs and mouse-lemurs (34 species) ***** Family
Daubentoniidae The aye-aye (''Daubentonia madagascariensis'') is a long-fingered lemur Lemurs ( ) (from Latin ''lemures'' – ghosts or spirits) are mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constitu ...

Daubentoniidae
: aye-aye (one species) ***** Family
Lemuridae Lemuridae is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Id ...
: ring-tailed lemur and allies (21 species) ***** Family Lepilemuridae: sportive lemurs (26 species) ***** Family
Indriidae The Indriidae (sometimes incorrectly spelled Indridae) are a family of strepsirrhine Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini (; ) is a suborder of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals ...
: woolly lemurs and allies (19 species) **** Superfamily
Lorisoidea Lorisoidea is a Taxonomic rank, superfamily of nocturnal primates found throughout Africa and Asia. Members include the galagos and the Lorisidae, lorisids. As Strepsirrhini, strepsirrhines, lorisoids are related to the lemurs of Madagascar and ar ...
***** Family
Lorisidae Lorisidae (or sometimes Loridae) is a family of strepsirrhine primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals con ...
: lorisids (14 species) ***** Family
Galagidae Galagos , also known as bush babies, or ''nagapies'' (meaning "night monkeys" in Afrikaans), are small Nocturnality, nocturnal primates native to continental, sub-Sahara Africa, and make up the family (biology), family Galagidae (also sometimes ...
: galagos (19 species) ** Suborder
Haplorhini Haplorhini (), the haplorhines (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populat ...
: tarsiers, monkeys and apes *** Infraorder
Tarsiiformes Tarsiiformes are a group of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), cl ...
**** Family
Tarsiidae Tarsiers are haplorrhine primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class ...

Tarsiidae
: tarsiers (11 species) *** Infraorder
Simiiformes The simians, anthropoids or higher primates are an infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemi ...

Simiiformes
(or Anthropoidea) **** Parvorder
Platyrrhini New World monkeys are the five families of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutheria Eutheria (; from Greek , 'good, right' and , 'beast'; ) is the clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch ...
: New World monkeys ***** Family
Callitrichidae The Callitrichidae (also called Arctopitheci or Hapalidae) are a family (biology), family of New World monkeys, including marmosets, tamarins, and lion tamarins. At times, this group of animals has been regarded as a subfamily, called the Callitr ...

Callitrichidae
: marmosets and tamarins (42 species) ***** Family
Cebidae The Cebidae are one of the five family (biology), families of New World monkeys now recognised. Extant members are the capuchin monkey, capuchin and squirrel monkeys. These species are found throughout tropical and subtropical South America, South ...
: capuchins and squirrel monkeys (14 species) ***** Family
Aotidae Night monkeys, also known as owl monkeys or douroucoulis (), are nocturnal New World monkeys of the genus ''Aotus'', the only member of the family (biology), family Aotidae (). The genus comprises eleven species which are found across Panama and ...
: night or owl monkeys (douroucoulis) (11 species) ***** Family
Pitheciidae The Pitheciidae () are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. Formerly, they were included in the family Atelidae The Atelidae are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. It was formerly included ...
: titis, sakis and uakaris (43 species) ***** Family
Atelidae The Atelidae are one of the five families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). ...
: howler, spider, woolly spider and woolly monkeys (29 species) **** Parvorder
Catarrhini The parvorder Catarrhini , catarrhine monkeys or Old World anthropoids are the sister group to the New World monkeys, the Platyrrhini New World monkeys are the five families of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank' ...

Catarrhini
***** Superfamily
Cercopithecoidea Old World monkey is the common English name for a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
****** Family
Cercopithecidae Old World monkey is the common English name for a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spati ...
: Old World monkeys (138 species) ***** Superfamily
Hominoidea Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientis ...
****** Family
Hylobatidae Gibbons () are ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...

Hylobatidae
: gibbons or "lesser apes" (18 species) ****** Family
Hominidae The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
: great apes, including humans (8 species) Order Primates was established by
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
in 1758, in the tenth edition of his book ''
Systema Naturae ' (originally in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...
'', for the genera ''
Homo ''Homo'' () is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...

Homo
'' (humans), ''
Simia In his ''Systema Naturae ' (originally in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meani ...
'' (other apes and monkeys), ''
Lemur Lemurs ( ) (from Latin ''lemures'' – ghosts or spirits) are wet-nosed primates of the superfamily SUPERFAMILY is a database and search platform of structural and functional annotation for all proteins and genomes. It classifies amino acid s ...
'' (prosimians) and ''
Vespertilio ''Vespertilio'' is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae. The common name for this family is vesper bats, which is a better known classification than ''Vespertilio''. Also: frosted bats. Species within the genus ''Vespertilio'' are: *Pa ...
'' (bats). In the first edition of the same book (1735), he had used the name
Anthropomorpha Anthropomorpha is a defunct taxon, replaced by ''Primates A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting th ...
for ''Homo'', ''Simia'' and '''' (sloths). In 1839,
Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (; 12 September 1777 – 1 May 1850) was a French zoologist and anatomist. Life Blainville was born at Arques-la-Bataille, Arques, near Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, Dieppe. As a young man he went to Paris to study ar ...

Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville
, following Linnaeus and imitating his nomenclature, established the orders Secundates (including the suborders
Chiroptera Bats are mammals of the Order (biology), order Chiroptera.''cheir'', "hand" and πτερόν''pteron'', "wing". With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more manoeuvrable ...

Chiroptera
,
Insectivora The order Insectivora (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
and
Carnivora Carnivora is an order of placental Placentalia is one of the three extant subdivisions of the class of animals Mammalia Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch ...
), Tertiates (or Glires) and Quaternates (including Gravigrada, Pachydermata and Ruminantia), but these new taxa were not accepted. Before Anderson and Jones introduced the classification of Strepsirrhini and Haplorhini in 1984, (followed by McKenna and Bell's 1997 work Mammal classification#McKenna/Bell classification, ''Classification of Mammals: Above the species level''), Primates was divided into two superfamilies: Prosimii and Anthropoidea. Prosimii included all of the
prosimian Prosimians are a group of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago ...
s: Strepsirrhini plus the tarsiers. Anthropoidea contained all of the simians.


Phylogeny and genetics

Order (biology), Order Primates is part of the clade Euarchontoglires, which is nested within the clade Eutheria of Class Mammalia. Recent molecular genetic research on primates, colugos, and treeshrews has shown that the two species of colugos are more closely related to primates than to treeshrews, even though treeshrews were at one time considered primates. These three orders make up the
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
Euarchonta. The combination of this clade with the clade Glires (composed of Rodentia and Lagomorpha) forms the clade Euarchontoglires. Variously, both Euarchonta and Euarchontoglires are ranked as superorders. Some scientists consider Dermoptera to be a suborder of Primates and use the suborder Euprimates for the "true" primates.


Evolution

The primate lineage is thought to go back at least near the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary or around 63–74 (mya (unit), mya), even though the oldest known primates from the fossil record date to the Late Paleocene of Africa, c.57 mya (''Altiatlasius'') or the Paleocene-Eocene transition in the northern continents, c. 55 mya (''Cantius'', ''Donrussellia'', ''Altanius'', ''Plesiadapis'' and ''Teilhardina''). Other studies, including molecular clock studies, have estimated the origin of the primate branch to have been in the mid-Cretaceous period, around 85 mya. By modern Cladistics, cladistic reckoning, the order Primates is
monophyletic In cladistics for a group of organisms, monophyly is the condition of being a clade—that is, a group of taxa composed only of a common ancestor (or more precisely an ancestral population) and all of its lineal descendants. Monophyletic grou ...

monophyletic
. The suborder
Strepsirrhini Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini (; ) is a Order (biology), suborder of primates that includes the Lemuriformes, lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Fauna of Madagascar, Madagascar, galagos ("bushbabies") and pottos from Fauna of A ...

Strepsirrhini
, the "rhinarium, wet-nosed" primates, is generally thought to have split off from the primitive primate line about 63 mya, although earlier dates are also supported. The seven strepsirrhine families are the five related lemur families and the two remaining families that include the Lorisidae, lorisids and the galagos. Older classification schemes wrap Sportive lemur, Lepilemuridae into
Lemuridae Lemuridae is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Id ...
and Galago, Galagidae into
Lorisidae Lorisidae (or sometimes Loridae) is a family of strepsirrhine primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals con ...
, yielding a four-one family distribution instead of five-two as presented here. During the Eocene, most of the northern continents were dominated by two groups, the adapiforms and the omomyids. The former are considered members of Strepsirrhini, but did not have a toothcomb like modern lemurs; recent analysis has demonstrated that ''Darwinius, Darwinius masillae'' fits into this grouping. The latter was closely related to tarsiers, monkeys, and apes. How these two groups relate to extant primates is unclear. Omomyids perished about 30 mya, while adapiforms survived until about 10 mya. According to genetic studies, the lemurs of Madagascar diverged from the lorisoids approximately 75 mya. These studies, as well as chromosomal and molecular evidence, also show that lemurs are more closely related to each other than to other strepsirrhine primates. However, Madagascar split from Africa 160 mya and from India 90 mya. To account for these facts, a founding lemur population of a few individuals is thought to have reached Madagascar from Africa via a single rafting event between 50 and 80 mya. Other colonization options have been suggested, such as multiple colonizations from Africa and India, but none are supported by the genetic and molecular evidence. Until recently, the aye-aye has been difficult to place within Strepsirrhini. Theories had been proposed that its family, Daubentoniidae, was either a lemuriform primate (meaning its ancestors split from the lemur line more recently than lemurs and lorises split) or a sister group to all the other strepsirrhines. In 2008, the aye-aye family was confirmed to be most closely related to the other Malagasy lemurs, likely having descended from the same ancestral population that colonized the island. Suborder
Haplorhini Haplorhini (), the haplorhines (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populat ...
, the simple-nosed or "dry-nosed" primates, is composed of two sister clades. Prosimian tarsiers in the family Tarsiidae (monotypic in its own infraorder Tarsiiformes), represent the most Basal (phylogenetics), basal division, originating about 58 mya. The earliest known haplorhine skeleton, that of 55 MA old tarsier-like ''Archicebus'', was found in central China, supporting an already suspected Asian origin for the group. The infraorder Simian, Simiiformes (simian primates, consisting of monkeys and apes) emerged about 40 mya, possibly also in Asia; if so, they Oceanic dispersal, dispersed across the Tethys Ocean, Tethys Sea from Asia to Africa soon afterwards. There are two simian clades, both wikt:parvorder, parvorders:
Catarrhini The parvorder Catarrhini , catarrhine monkeys or Old World anthropoids are the sister group to the New World monkeys, the Platyrrhini New World monkeys are the five families of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank' ...

Catarrhini
, which developed in Africa, consisting of Old World monkeys, humans and the other apes, and Platyrrhini, which developed in South America, consisting of New World monkeys. A third clade, which included the eosimiids, developed in Asia, but became extinct millions of years ago. As in the case of lemurs, the origin of New World monkeys is unclear. Molecular studies of concatenated nuclear sequences have yielded a widely varying estimated date of divergence between platyrrhines and catarrhines, ranging from 33 to 70 mya, while studies based on mitochondrial sequences produce a narrower range of 35 to 43 mya. The anthropoid primates possibly traversed the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America during the Eocene by island hopping, facilitated by Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Atlantic Ocean ridges and a lowered sea level. Alternatively, a single Oceanic dispersal, rafting event may explain this transoceanic colonization. Due to continental drift, the Atlantic Ocean was not nearly as wide at the time as it is today. Research suggests that a small primate could have survived 13 days on a raft of vegetation. Given estimated current and wind speeds, this would have provided enough time to make the voyage between the continents. Apes and monkeys spread from Africa into Europe and Asia starting in the Miocene. Soon after, the lorises and tarsiers made the same journey. The first hominin fossils were discovered in northern Africa and date back 5–8 mya. Old World monkeys disappeared from Europe about 1.8 mya. Molecular and fossil studies generally show that modern humans originated in Africa 100,000–200,000 years ago. Although primates are well studied in comparison to other animal groups, several new species have Primates discovered in the 2000s, been discovered recently, and genetic tests have revealed previously unrecognised species in known populations. ''Primate Taxonomy'' listed about 350 species of primates in 2001; the author, Colin Groves, increased that number to 376 for his contribution to the third edition of ''Mammal Species of the World'' (MSW3). However, publications since the taxonomy in MSW3 was compiled in 2003 have pushed the number to 522 species, or 708 including subspecies.


Hybrids

Primate Hybrid (biology), hybrids usually arise in captivity, but there have also been examples in the wild. Hybridization occurs where two species' range overlap to form hybrid zones; hybrids may be created by humans when animals are placed in zoos or due to environmental pressures such as predation. Intergeneric hybridizations, hybrids of different genera, have also been found in the wild. Although they belong to genera that have been distinct for several million years, interbreeding still occurs between the gelada and the hamadryas baboon.


Clones

On 24 January 2018, scientists in China reported in the journal ''Cell (journal), Cell'' the creation of two crab-eating macaque Clone (cell biology), clones, named ''Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, Zhong Zhong'' and ''Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, Hua Hua'', using the Nuclear transfer, complex DNA transfer method that produced Dolly (sheep), ''Dolly'' the sheep, for the first time.


Anatomy and physiology


Head

The primate skull has a large, domed Skull, cranium, which is particularly prominent in Simian, anthropoids. The cranium protects the large brain, a distinguishing characteristic of this group. The endocranial volume (the volume within the skull) is three times greater in
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s than in the greatest nonhuman primate, reflecting a larger brain size. The mean endocranial volume is 1,201 cubic centimeters in humans, 469 cm3 in
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s, 400 cm3 in
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s and 397 cm3 in
orangutan Orangutans are great apes The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relati ...

orangutan
s. The primary evolutionary trend of primates has been the elaboration of the brain, in particular the neocortex (a part of the cerebral cortex), which is involved with sense, sensory perception, generation of motor cortex, motor commands, spatial reasoning, consciousness, conscious thought and, in humans, language. While other mammals rely heavily on their Olfaction, sense of smell, the arboreal life of primates has led to a Somatosensory system, tactile, Visual perception, visually dominant sensory system, a reduction in the olfactory region of the brain and increasingly complex social behavior. Primates have forward-facing eyes on the front of the skull; binocular vision allows accurate distance perception, useful for the Brachiation, brachiating ancestors of all great apes. A supraorbital ridge, bony ridge above the eye sockets reinforces weaker bones in the face, which are put under strain during chewing. Strepsirrhini, Strepsirrhines have a postorbital bar, a bone around the eye socket, to protect their eyes; in contrast, the higher primates, Haplorhini, haplorhines, have evolved fully enclosed sockets. Primates show an evolutionary trend towards a reduced snout. Technically, Old World monkeys are distinguished from New World monkeys by the structure of the nose, and from apes by the dentition, arrangement of their teeth. In New World monkeys, the nostrils face sideways; in Old World monkeys, they face downwards. Dental pattern in primates vary considerably; although some have lost most of their incisors, all retain at least one lower incisor. In most strepsirrhines, the lower incisors form a toothcomb, which is used in grooming and sometimes foraging. Old World monkeys have eight premolars, compared with 12 in New World monkeys. The Old World species are divided into apes and monkeys depending on the number of Cusp (dentistry), cusps on their Molar (tooth), molars: monkeys have four, apes have five - although humans may have four or five. The main hominid molar cusp (hypocone) evolved in early primate history, while the cusp of the corresponding primitive lower molar (paraconid) was lost. Prosimians are distinguished by their immobilized upper lips, the moist tip of their noses and forward-facing lower front teeth.


Body

Primates generally have five digits on each limb (Dactyly#Pentadactyly, pentadactyly), with a characteristic type of keratin Nail (anatomy), fingernail on the end of each finger and toe. The bottom sides of the hands and feet have tactile pad, sensitive pads on the distal phalanges, fingertips. Most have
opposable thumbs The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb i ...

opposable thumbs
, a characteristic primate feature most developed in
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s, though not limited to this order, (opossums and koalas, for example, also have them). Thumbs allow some species to use Tool use by animals, tools. In primates, the combination of opposing thumbs, short fingernails (rather than claws) and long, inward-closing fingers is a relict of the ancestral practice of gripping branches, and has, in part, allowed some species to develop
brachiation Brachiation (from "brachium", Latin for "arm"), or arm swinging, is a form of arboreal locomotion Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. ...
(swinging by the arms from tree limb to tree limb) as a significant means of locomotion. Prosimians have clawlike nails on the second toe of each foot, called toilet-claws, which they use for grooming. The primate clavicle, collar bone is a prominent element of the pectoral girdle; this allows the Glenohumeral joint, shoulder joint broad mobility. Compared to Old World monkeys, apes have more mobile shoulder joints and arms due to the dorsal position of the scapula, broad ribcages that are flatter front-to-back, a shorter, less mobile spine, and with lower vertebrae greatly reduced - resulting in tail loss in some species. Prehensile tails are found in the New World Atelidae, atelids, including the howler monkey, howler, spider monkey, spider, woolly spider monkey, woolly spider, woolly monkeys; and in Capuchin monkey, capuchins. Male primates have a Penis#Primates, pendulous penis and scrotal testes.


Sexual dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is often exhibited in simians, though to a greater degree in Old World species (apes and some monkeys) than New World species. Recent studies involve comparing DNA to examine both the variation in the expression of the dimorphism among primates and the fundamental causes of sexual dimorphism. Primates usually have dimorphism in Body weight, body mass and canine tooth size along with pelage and skin color. The dimorphism can be attributed to and affected by different factors, including mating system, size, habitat and diet. Comparative analyses have generated a more complete understanding of the relationship between sexual selection, natural selection, and mating systems in primates. Studies have shown that dimorphism is the product of changes in both male and female traits. Ontogenetic scaling, where relative extension of a common growth trajectory occurs, may give some insight into the relationship between sexual dimorphism and growth patterns. Some evidence from the fossil record suggests that there was convergent evolution of dimorphism, and some extinct hominids probably had greater dimorphism than any living primate.


Locomotion

Primate species move by
brachiation Brachiation (from "brachium", Latin for "arm"), or arm swinging, is a form of arboreal locomotion Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. ...
, bipedalism, Jumping, leaping, arboreal and terrestrial quadrupedalism, arboreal locomotion, climbing,
knuckle-walking Knuckle-walking is a form of quadrupedal The zebra is a quadruped. Quadrupedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where a tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrap ...
or by a combination of these methods. Several prosimians are primarily vertical clingers and leapers. These include many Galago, bushbabies, all Indriidae, indriids (i.e., sifakas, avahi (genus), avahis and indris), sportive lemurs, and all tarsiers. Other prosimians are arboreal quadrupeds and climbers. Some are also terrestrial quadrupeds, while some are leapers. Most monkeys are both arboreal and terrestrial quadrupeds and climbers. Gibbons, muriquis and spider monkeys all brachiate extensively, with gibbons sometimes doing so in remarkably acrobatic fashion. Woolly monkeys also brachiate at times. Orangutans use a similar form of locomotion called quadramanous climbing, in which they use their arms and legs to carry their heavy bodies through the trees. Chimpanzees and
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s knuckle walk, and can move bipedally for short distances. Although numerous species, such as australopithecines and Homo, early hominids, have exhibited fully bipedal locomotion, humans are the only extant species with this trait.


Vision

The evolution of color vision in primates is unique among most
eutheria Eutheria (; from Greek , 'good, right' and , 'beast'; ) is the clade consisting of all Theria, therian mammals that are more closely related to Placentalia, placentals than to Marsupial, marsupials. Eutherians are distinguished from noneuther ...

eutheria
n
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s. While the remote
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
ancestors of the primates possessed trichromacy, three color vision (trichromaticism), the Nocturnality, nocturnal, warm-blooded, mammalian ancestors lost one of three cones in the retina during the Mesozoic era. Fish, reptiles and birds are therefore trichromatic or Tetrachromacy, tetrachromatic, while all mammals, with the exception of some primates and marsupials, are dichromats or Monochromacy, monochromats (totally color blind). Nocturnal primates, such as the night monkeys and Galago, bush babies, are often monochromatic. Catarrhines are routinely trichromatic due to a gene duplication of the red-green opsin gene at the base of their lineage, 30 to 40 million years ago. Platyrrhines, on the other hand, are trichromatic in a few cases only. Specifically, individual females must be Zygosity#Heterozygous, heterozygous for two alleles of the opsin gene (red and green) located on the same Locus (genetics), locus of the X chromosome. Males, therefore, can only be dichromatic, while females can be either dichromatic or trichromatic. Color vision in strepsirrhines is not as well understood; however, research indicates a range of color vision similar to that found in platyrrhines. Like catarrhines, howler monkeys (a family of platyrrhines) show routine trichromatism that has been traced to an evolutionarily recent gene duplication. Howler monkeys are one of the most specialized leaf-eaters of the New World monkeys; fruits are not a major part of their diets, and the type of leaves they prefer to consume (young, nutritive, and digestible) are detectable only by a red-green signal. Field work exploring the dietary preferences of howler monkeys suggests that routine trichromaticism was selected by environment.


Behavior


Social systems

Richard Wrangham stated that
social systems In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal Social structure, structure of role and status that can form in a small ...
of primates are best classified by the amount of movement by females occurring between groups. He proposed four categories: * Female transfer systems – females move away from the group in which they were born. Females of a group will not be closely related whereas males will have remained with their natal groups, and this close association may be influential in social behavior. The groups formed are generally quite small. This organization can be seen in
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s, where the males, who are typically related, will cooperate in defense of the group's territory. Evidence of this social system has also been found among Neanderthal remains in Spain and in remains of ''Australopithecus'' and ''Paranthropus robustus'' groups in southern Africa. Among New World Monkeys, spider monkeys and muriquis use this system. * Male transfer systems – while the females remain in their natal groups, the males will emigrate as adolescents. Polygyny in nature, Polygynous and multi-male societies are classed in this category. Group sizes are usually larger. This system is common among the ring-tailed lemur, capuchin monkeys and Cercopithecinae, cercopithecine monkeys. * Monogamous species – a male–female bond, sometimes accompanied by a juvenile offspring. There is shared responsibility of parental care and territorial defense. The offspring leaves the parents' territory during adolescence. Gibbons essentially use this system, although "monogamy" in this context does not necessarily mean absolute sexual fidelity. These species do not live in larger groups. * Solitary species – often males who defend territories that include the home ranges of several females. This type of organization is found in the prosimians such as the slow loris. Orangutans do not defend their territory but effectively have this organization. Other systems are known to occur as well. For example, with howler monkeys and
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s both the males and females typically transfer from their natal group on reaching sexual maturity, resulting in groups in which neither the males nor females are typically related. Some prosimians, Colobinae, colobine monkeys and Callitrichinae, callitrichid monkeys also use this system. The transfer of females or males from their native group is likely an adaptation for avoiding inbreeding. An analysis of breeding records of captive primate colonies representing numerous different species indicates that the infant mortality of inbred young is generally higher than that of non-inbred young. This effect of inbreeding on infant mortality is probably largely a result of increased expression of deleterious recessive alleles (see Inbreeding depression). Primatologist Jane Goodall, who studied in the Gombe Stream National Park, noted fission-fusion society, fission-fusion societies in chimpanzees. There is ''fission'' when the main group splits up to forage during the day, then ''fusion'' when the group returns at night to sleep as a group. This social structure can also be observed in the hamadryas baboon, spider monkeys and the bonobo. The gelada has a similar social structure in which many smaller groups come together to form temporary herds of up to 600 monkeys. Humans also form fission-fusion societies. In hunter-gatherer societies, humans form groups which are made up of several individuals that may split up to obtain different resources. These social systems are affected by three main ecological factors: distribution of resources, Group size measures, group size, and predation. Within a social group there is a balance between cooperation and competition. Cooperative behaviors in many primates species include social grooming (removing Parasitism, skin parasites and cleaning wounds), food sharing, and collective defense against predators or of a territory. Aggressive behaviors often signal competition for food, sleeping sites or mates. Aggression is also used in establishing dominance hierarchy, dominance hierarchies.


Interspecific associations

Several species of primates are known to associate in the wild. Some of these associations have been extensively studied. In the Taï National Park, Tai Forest of Africa several species coordinate anti-predator behavior. These include the Diana monkey, Campbell's mona monkey, lesser spot-nosed monkey, western red colobus, king colobus (western Black-and-white colobus, black and white colobus), and sooty mangabey, which coordinate anti-predator alarm calls. Among the predators of these monkeys is the common chimpanzee. The red-tailed monkey associates with several species, including the western red colobus, blue monkey, Wolf's mona monkey, mantled guereza, black crested mangabey and Allen's swamp monkey. Several of these species are preyed upon by the common chimpanzee. In South America, squirrel monkeys associate with capuchin monkeys. This may have more to do with foraging benefits to the squirrel monkeys than anti-predation benefits.


Communication

Lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, and New World monkeys rely on Olfaction, olfactory signals for many aspects of social and reproductive behavior. Specialized glands are used to mark territories with pheromones, which are detected by the vomeronasal organ; this process forms a large part of the communication behavior of these primates. In Old World monkeys and apes this ability is mostly Vestigiality, vestigial, having regressed as Trichromacy, trichromatic eyes evolved to become the main sensory organ. Primates also use vocalizations, gestures, and facial expressions to convey psychological state. Facial musculature is very developed in primates, particularly in monkeys and apes, allowing for complex facial communication. Like humans, chimpanzees can distinguish the faces of familiar and unfamiliar individuals. Hand and arm gestures are also important forms of communication for great apes and a single gesture can have multiple functions. The Philippine tarsier, has a high-frequency limit of auditory sensitivity of approximately 91 kHz with a dominant frequency of 70 kHz. Such values are among the highest recorded for any terrestrial mammal, and a relatively extreme example of ultrasonic communication. For Philippine tarsiers, ultrasonic vocalizations might represent a private channel of communication that subverts detection by predators, prey and competitors, enhances energetic efficiency, or improves detection against low-frequency background noise. Male howler monkeys are among the loudest land mammals and their roars can be heard up to . Roars are produced by modified larynx and enlarged hyoid bone which contains an air sac. These calls are thought to relate to intergroup spacing and territorial protection as well as possibly mate-guarding. The vervet monkey gives a distinct alarm call for each of at least four different predators, and the reactions of other monkeys vary according to the call. For example, if an alarm call signals a python, the monkeys climb into the trees, whereas the eagle alarm causes monkeys to seek a hiding place on the ground. Many non-human primates have the vocal anatomy to produce human speech but lack the proper brain wiring. Vowel-like vocal patterns have been recorded in baboons which has implications for the origin of speech in humans. The time range for the evolution of human language and/or its anatomical prerequisites extends, at least in principle, from the phylogenetic divergence of ''
Homo ''Homo'' () is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...

Homo
'' (2.3 to 2.4 million years ago) from ''Pan (genus), Pan'' (5 to 6 million years ago) to the emergence of full behavioral modernity some 50,000–150,000 years ago. Few dispute that ''Australopithecus'' probably lacked vocal communication significantly more sophisticated than that of
great ape The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
s in general.


Life history

Primates have slower rates of development than other mammals. All primate infants are breastfeeding, breastfed by their mothers (with the exception of some human cultures and various zoo raised primates which are fed formula) and rely on them for grooming and transportation. In some species, infants are protected and transported by males in the group, particularly males who may be their fathers. Other relatives of the infant, such as siblings and aunts, may participate in its care as well. Most primate mothers cease ovulation while breastfeeding an infant; once the infant is Weaning, weaned the mother can reproduce again. This often leads to weaning conflict with infants who attempt to continue breastfeeding. Infanticide (zoology), Infanticide is common in polygynous species such as gray langurs and gorillas. Adult males may kill dependent offspring that are not theirs so the female will return to estrus and thus they can sire offspring of their own. Social monogamy in some species may have evolved to combat this behavior. Promiscuity may also lessen the risk of infanticide since paternity becomes uncertain. Primates have a longer Juvenile (organism), juvenile period between weaning and sexual maturity than other mammals of similar size. Some primates such as galagos and new world monkeys use tree-holes for Nest-building in primates, nesting, and park juveniles in leafy patches while foraging. Other primates follow a strategy of "riding", i.e. carrying individuals on the body while feeding. Adults may construct or use nesting sites, sometimes accompanied by juveniles, for the purpose of resting, a behavior which has developed secondarily in the great apes. During the juvenile period, primates are more susceptible than adults to predation and starvation; they gain experience in feeding and avoiding predators during this time. They learn social and fighting skills, often through playing. Primates, especially females, have longer lifespans than other similarly sized mammals, this may be partially due to their slower metabolisms. Late in life, female catarrhine primates appear to undergo a cessation of reproductive function known as menopause; other groups are less studied.


Diet and feeding

Primates exploit a variety of food sources. It has been said that many characteristics of modern primates, including humans, derive from an early ancestor's practice of taking most of its food from the tropical canopy. Most primates include fruit in their diets to obtain easily digested nutrients including carbohydrates and lipids for energy. Primates in the suborder
Strepsirrhini Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini (; ) is a Order (biology), suborder of primates that includes the Lemuriformes, lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Fauna of Madagascar, Madagascar, galagos ("bushbabies") and pottos from Fauna of A ...

Strepsirrhini
(non-tarsier prosimians) are able to synthesize vitamin C, like most other mammals, while primates of the suborder Haplorrhini (tarsiers, monkeys and apes) have lost this ability, and require the vitamin in their diet. Many primates have anatomical specializations that enable them to exploit particular foods, such as fruit, leaves, gum or insects. For example, leaf eaters such as howler monkeys, black-and-white colobuses and sportive lemurs have extended digestive tracts which enable them to absorb nutrients from leaves that can be difficult to digest. Marmosets, which are gum eaters, have strong incisor teeth, enabling them to open tree bark to get to the gum, and claws rather than nails, enabling them to cling to trees while feeding. The aye-aye combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It taps on trees to find insect larvae, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its elongated middle finger to pull the larvae out. Some species have additional specializations. For example, the grey-cheeked mangabey has thick tooth enamel, enamel on its teeth, enabling it to open hard fruits and seeds that other monkeys cannot. The gelada is the only primate species that feeds primarily on grass.


Hunting

Tarsiers are the only Extant taxon, extant obligate carnivore, obligate carnivorous primates, exclusively eating insects, crustaceans, small vertebrates and snakes (including Venomous snake, venomous species). Capuchin monkeys can exploit many different types of plant matter, including fruit, leaves, flowers, buds, nectar and seeds, but also eat insects and other invertebrates, bird eggs, and small vertebrates such as birds, lizards, squirrels and bats. The common chimpanzee eats an omnivorous frugivorous diet. It prefers fruit above all other food items and even seeks out and eats them when they are not abundant. It also eats leaves and leaf buds, seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark and resin. Insects and meat make up a small proportion of their diet, estimated as 2%. The meat consumption includes predation on other primate species, such as the western red colobus monkey. The bonobo is an omnivorous frugivore – the majority of its diet is fruit, but it supplements this with leaves, meat from small
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
s, such as anomalures, flying squirrels and duikers, and invertebrates. In some instances, bonobos have been shown to consume lower-order primates. Until the development of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago, ''Homo sapiens'' employed a hunter-gatherer method as their sole means of food collection. This involved combining stationary food sources (such as fruits, grains, tubers, and mushrooms, insect larvae and aquatic mollusks) with Game (food), wild game, which must be hunted and killed in order to be consumed. It has been proposed that humans have used fire to prepare and cooking, cook food since the time of ''Homo erectus''. Around ten thousand years ago, History of agriculture, humans developed agriculture, which substantially altered their diet. This change in diet may also have altered human biology; with the spread of dairy farming providing a new and rich source of food, leading to the evolution of the ability to digest lactose in some adults.


As prey

Predators of primates include various species of carnivorans, birds of prey, reptiles, and other primates. Even gorillas have been recorded as prey. Predators of primates have diverse hunting strategies and as such, primates have evolved several different antipredator adaptations including crypsis, Alarm signal, alarm calls and Mobbing (animal behavior), mobbing. Several species have separate alarm calls for different predators such as air-borne or ground-dwelling predators. Predation may have shaped group size in primates as species exposed to higher predation pressures appear to live in larger groups.


Intelligence and cognition

Primates have advanced cognitive abilities: some make tools and use them to acquire food and for social displays; some can perform tasks requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can recognise Kinship, kin and conspecifics; and they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax and concepts of number and numerical sequence. Research in primate cognition explores problem solving, memory, social interaction, a Theory of mind#Non-human, theory of mind, and numerical, spatial, and abstract concepts. Comparative studies show a trend towards higher intelligence going from prosimians to New World monkeys to Old World monkeys, and significantly higher average cognitive abilities in the great apes. However, there is a great deal of variation in each group (e.g., among New World monkeys, both spider monkey, spider and capuchin monkeys have scored highly by some measures), as well as in the results of different studies.


Tool use and manufacture

In 1960, Jane Goodall observed a
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
poking pieces of grass into a termite mound and then raising the grass to his mouth. After he left, Goodall approached the mound and repeated the behaviour because she was unsure what the chimpanzee was doing. She found that the termites bit onto the grass with their jaws. The chimpanzee had been using the grass as a tool to "fish" or "dip" for termites. There are more limited reports of the closely related bonobo using tools in the wild; it has been claimed they rarely use tools in the wild although they use tools as readily as chimpanzees when in captivity. It has been reported that females, both chimpanzee and bonobo, use tools more avidly than males. Orangutans in Borneo scoop catfish out of small ponds. Anthropologist Anne Russon saw several animals on these forested islands learn on their own to jab at catfish with sticks, so that the panicked prey would flop out of ponds and into the orangutan's waiting hands There are few reports of
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s using tools in the wild. An adult female western lowland gorilla used a branch as a walking stick apparently to test water depth and to aid her in crossing a pool of water. Another adult female used a detached trunk from a small shrub as a stabilizer during food gathering, and another used a log as a bridge. The first direct observation of a non-ape primate using a tool in a wild environment occurred in 1988. Primatologist Sue Boinski watched an adult male white-faced capuchin beat a Bothrops asper, fer-de-lance snake to death with a dead branch. The black-striped capuchin was the first non-ape primate for which routine tool use was documented in the wild; individuals were observed cracking nuts by placing them on a stone anvil and hitting them with another large stone. In Thailand and Myanmar, crab-eating macaques use stone tools to open nuts, oysters and other bivalves, and various types of sea snails. Chacma baboons use stones as weapons; stoning by these baboons is done from the rocky walls of the canyon where they sleep and retreat to when they are threatened. Stones are lifted with one hand and dropped over the side whereupon they tumble down the side of the cliff or fall directly to the canyon floor. Although they have not been observed to use tools in the wild, lemurs in controlled settings have been shown to be capable of understanding the functional properties of the objects they had been trained to use as tools, performing as well as tool-using haplorhines. Soon after her initial discovery of tool use, Goodall observed other chimpanzees picking up leafy twigs, stripping off the leaves and using the stems to fish for insects. This change of a leafy twig into a tool was a major discovery. Prior to this, scientists thought that only
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s manufactured and used tools, and that this ability was what separated humans from other animals. Chimpanzees have also been observed making "sponges" out of leaves and moss that suck up water. Sumatran orangutans have been observed making and using tools. They will break off a tree branch that is about 30 cm long, snap off the twigs, fray one end and then use the stick to dig in tree holes for termites. In the wild, mandrills have been observed to clean their ears with modified tools. Scientists filmed a large male mandrill at Chester Zoo (UK) stripping down a twig, apparently to make it narrower, and then using the modified stick to scrape dirt from underneath its toenails. Captive gorillas have made a variety of tools.


Ecology

Non-human primates primarily live in the Tropics, tropical latitudes of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Species that live outside of the tropics; include the Japanese macaque which lives in the Japanese islands of Honshū and Hokkaido; the Barbary macaque which lives in North Africa and several species of langur which live in China. Primates tend to live in Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, tropical rainforests but are also found in temperate forests, savannas, deserts, mountains and coastal areas. The number of primate species within tropical areas has been shown to be positively correlation, correlated to the amount of rainfall and the amount of rain forest area. Accounting for 25% to 40% of the frugivore, fruit-eating animals (by biomass, weight) within tropical rainforests, primates play an important Ecology, ecological role by dispersing seeds of many tree species. Primate habitats span a range of altitudes: the black snub-nosed monkey has been found living in the Hengduan Mountains at altitudes of 4,700 meters (15,400 ft), the mountain gorilla can be found at 4,200 meters (13,200 ft) crossing the Virunga Mountains, and the gelada has been found at elevations of up to in the Ethiopian Highlands. Some species interact with aquatic environments and may swim or even dive, including the proboscis monkey, De Brazza's monkey and Allen's swamp monkey. Some primates, such as the rhesus macaque and gray langurs, can exploit human-modified environments and even live in cities.


Interactions between humans and other primates


Disease transmission

Close interactions between humans and non-human primates (NHPs) can create pathways for the transmission of
zoonotic diseases A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen (an infectious agent, such as a bacterium, virus, parasite or prion) that has Cross-species transmission, jumped from an animal (usually a vertebrat ...
. Viruses such as ''Herpesviridae'' (most notably Herpes B Virus), ''Poxviridae'',
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
,
ebola Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a viral hemorrhagic fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a diverse group of animal and human illness A disease is a particular abnormal c ...

ebola
,
rabies Rabies is a viral disease A viral disease (or viral infection) occurs when an organism's body is invaded by pathogenic viruses, and infection, infectious virus particles (virions) attach to and enter susceptible cells. Structural characteri ...
, the Marburg virus and viral hepatitis can be transmitted to humans; in some cases the viruses produce potentially fatal diseases in both humans and non-human primates.


Legal and social status

Only
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s are recognized as persons and protected in law by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The legal status of NHPs, on the other hand, is the subject of much debate, with organizations such as the Great Ape Project (GAP) campaigning to great ape personhood, award at least some of them legal rights. In June 2008, Spain became the first country in the world to recognize the rights of some NHPs, when its parliament's cross-party environmental committee urged the country to comply with GAP's recommendations, which are that
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s, bonobos,
orangutan Orangutans are great apes The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relati ...

orangutan
s, and
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s are not to be used for animal experiments. Many species of NHP are kept as pets by humans, the Allied Effort to Save Other Primates (AESOP) estimates that around 15,000 NHPs live as exotic pets in the United States. The expanding Chinese middle class has increased demand for NHPs as exotic pets in recent years. Although NHP import for the pet trade was banned in the U.S. in 1975, smuggling still occurs along the United States – Mexico border, with prices ranging from United States dollar, US$3000 for monkeys to $30,000 for apes. Primates are used as model organisms in laboratories and have been used in Monkeys in space, space missions. They serve as service animals for disabled humans. Capuchin monkeys can be Monkey helper, trained to assist quadriplegic humans; their intelligence, memory, and manual dexterity make them ideal helpers. NHPs are kept in zoos around the globe. Historically, zoos were primarily a form of entertainment, but more recently have shifted their focus towards conservation, education and research. GAP does not insist that all NHPs should be released from zoos, primarily because captive-born primates lack the knowledge and experience to survive in the wild if released.


Role in scientific research

Thousands of non-human primates are used around the world in research because of their psychological and physiological similarity to humans. In particular, the brains and eyes of NHPs more closely parallel human anatomy than those of any other animals. NHPs are commonly used in Clinical trial#Pre-clinical studies, preclinical trials, neuroscience, ophthalmology studies, and toxicity studies. Rhesus macaques are often used, as are other
macaque The macaques () constitute a genus (''Macaca'') of sociality, gregarious Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The 23 species of macaques inhabit species distribution, ranges throughout Asia, North Africa, and (in barbary macaques i ...

macaque
s, African Chlorocebus, green monkeys, chimpanzees,
baboon Baboons are primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first fro ...

baboon
s, squirrel monkeys, and marmosets, both wild-caught and purpose-bred. In 2005, GAP reported that 1,280 of the 3,100 NHPs living in captivity in the United States were used for experiments. In 2004, the European Union used around 10,000 NHPs in such experiments; in 2005 in Great Britain, 4,652 experiments were conducted on 3,115 NHPs. Governments of many nations have strict care requirements of NHPs kept in captivity. In the US, federal guidelines extensively regulate aspects of NHP housing, feeding, enrichment, and breeding. European groups such as the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments are seeking a ban on all NHP use in experiments as part of the European Union's review of animal testing legislation.


Extinction threats

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists more than a third of primates as critically endangered or vulnerable. About 60% of primate species are threatened with extinction, including: 87% of species in Madagascar, 73% in Asia, 37% in Africa, and 36% in South and Central America. Additionally, 75% of primate species have decreasing populations. Trade is regulated, as all species are listed by CITES in CITES#Appendix II, Appendix II, except 50 species and subspecies listed in CITES#Appendix I, Appendix I, which gain full protection from trade. Common threats to primate species include
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
, forest fragmentation,
monkey drive A monkey drive is an operation where large numbers of wild monkey Monkey is a common name that may refer to most mammals of the infraorder In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies li ...
s (resulting from primate crop raiding), and primate hunting for use in medicines, as pets, and for food. Large-scale tropical forest clearing is widely regarded as the process that most threatens primates. More than 90% of primate species occur in tropical forests. The main cause of forest loss is clearing for agriculture, although commercial logging, Subsistence agriculture, subsistence harvesting of timber, mining, and dam construction also contribute to tropical forest destruction. In Indonesia large areas of lowland forest have been cleared to increase palm oil production, and one analysis of satellite imagery concluded that during 1998 and 1999 there was a loss of 1,000 Sumatran orangutans per year in the Leuser Ecosystem alone. Primates with a large body size (over 5 kg) are at increased extinction risk due to their greater profitability to poaching, poachers compared to smaller primates. They reach sexual maturity later and have a longer period between births. Populations therefore recover more slowly after being depleted by poaching or the pet trade. Data for some African cities show that half of all protein consumed in urban areas comes from the bushmeat trade. Endangered primates such as guenons and the Drill (mammal), drill are hunted at levels that far exceed sustainable levels. This is due to their large body size, ease of transport and profitability per animal. As farming encroaches on forest habitats, primates feed on the crops, causing the farmers large economic losses. Primate crop raiding gives locals a negative impression of primates, hindering conservation efforts. Madagascar, home to five endemic primate families, has experienced the greatest extinction of the recent past; since human settlement 1,500 years ago, at least eight classes and fifteen of the larger species have become extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction. Among the primates wiped out were ''Archaeoindris'' (a lemur larger than a silverback gorilla) and the families Palaeopropithecidae and Archaeolemuridae. In Asia, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam prohibit eating primate meat; however, primates are still hunted for food. Some smaller traditional religions allow the consumption of primate meat. The pet trade and traditional medicine also increase demand for illegal hunting. The rhesus macaque, a model organism, was protected after excessive trapping threatened its numbers in the 1960s; the program was so effective that they are now viewed as a pest throughout their range. In Central and South America forest fragmentation and hunting are the two main problems for primates. Large tracts of forest are now rare in Central America. This increases the amount of forest vulnerable to edge effects such as farmland encroachment, lower levels of humidity and a change in plant life. Movement restriction results in a greater amount of inbreeding, which can cause deleterious effects leading to a population bottleneck, whereby a significant percentage of the population is lost. There are 21 critically endangered primates, 7 of which have remained on the IUCN's "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates" list since the year 2000: the silky sifaka, Delacour's langur, the white-headed langur, the gray-shanked douc, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, the Cross River gorilla and the Sumatran orangutan. Miss Waldron's red colobus was recently declared extinct when no trace of the subspecies could be found from 1993 to 1999. A few hunters have found and killed individuals since then, but the subspecies' prospects remain bleak.


See also

* Arboreal theory * Human evolution * International Primate Day * List of primates * List of fossil primates * Primatology


Footnotes


References


Literature cited

* * * *


Further reading

*


External links

*
Primate Info Net


at Animal Diversity Web
Primate Research Institute
Kyoto University
High-Resolution Cytoarchitectural Primate Brain Atlases

EUPRIM-Net: European Primate Network

PrimateImages: Natural History Collection

Interactive views
of various primate skeletons at eSkeletons.org (associated with the University of Texas at Austin)
Tree of Life web project
{{Featured article Primates, Extant Thanetian first appearances Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus