Harrison, Terry Department of Anthropology, Paleoanthropology Laboratory, New York University, New York, New York.
- New World monkeys
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The mammalian order to which humans, monkeys, and apes belong. Primates other than humans are generally arboreal mammals (living in trees) with a geographic distribution restricted largely to the tropics. Unlike most other mammalian orders, the primates cannot be defined by a diagnostic suite of specializations, but are characterized by a combination of primitive features and progressive trends. These include (1) increased dominance of vision over olfaction (the sense of smell), with eyes more frontally directed, development of stereoscopic vision, and reduction in the length of the snout; (2) eye sockets of the skull completely encircled by bone; (3) loss of an incisor and premolar from each half of the upper and lower jaws with respect to primitive placental mammals; (4) increased size and complexity of the brain, especially those centers involving vision, memory, and learning; (5) development of grasping hands and feet, with a tendency to use the hands rather than the snout as the primary exploratory and manipulative organ; (6) progressive elaboration of the placenta in conjunction with a longer gestation period, small litter size (only one or two infants), and precocial young; (7) increased period of infant dependency and more intensive parenting; and (8) a tendency to live in complex, long-lasting social groups. See also: Mammalia; Social mammals; Sociobiology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information