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Ignacio Arenillas & José Antonio Arz

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 55: Fossil Primates

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Fossil Primates
Fossil primates

Primates are mammals included in the order Primates, which was defined by Carolus Linneaus in 1758 in order to group lemurs, monkeys, apes, and humans. Except for humans, most Primates live in the tropical or subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The Primates have been traditionally subdivided into two main informal groups: prosimians and simians. Members of the first group have traits most like those of the earliest Primates; they include tarsiers, lemurs, galagos, lorises, and aye-ayes (among others). The second group includes the New World and Old World monkeys in addition to the apes and humans.

Primates have a general morphology but exhibit a wide range of characteristics. Many species are sexually dimorphic, with females and males differing in size, ...

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