What Are The Primates

There are over 230 species of living primates, classified in 13 families, of which modern humans, Homo sapiens, are but one. Primates range, in evolutionary terms, from bush babies and tarsiers to gorillas and humans (Figure 11.1), and they range in size from the pigmy mouse lemur weighing 30 g to the gorilla at more than 175 kg. Primates are characterized by 30 or so characters that relate to three major sets of adaptations: (1) agility in the trees; (2) large brain and acute daylight vision; and (3) parental care.

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