Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Primate Behavioral Ecology
Barbara J. Welker
Primates belong to the order Primates. Members of this order include prosimians, monkeys, apes, and humans. The primates are divided into two suborders: Prosimii and Anthropoidea. Prosimians are the more primitive members of our order, i.e., they more closely resemble the earliest primates, whereas members of Anthropoidea (i.e., monkeys, apes, and humans) are more derived, that is, they exhibit evolved characteristics not present in the ancestral primates. The majority of primates are found within 20 degrees north and south latitude of the equator. They primarily inhabit the continents and surrounding islands of Africa, Asia, and South America. One species of monkey, the Barbary macaque, is native to Gibraltar; however, it is believed to have been introduced by the Romans and, in modern times, restocked by the English. Primates, while largely confined to the tropics, also inhabit more temperate regions. Forests can be divided and categorized according to their stage of ...