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
Linda D. Wolfe
Primatology is the study of nonhuman primates (NHP) or, as sometimes identified, the alloprimates, meaning primates other than us. The order Primates includes the prosimians, Old and New World monkeys, apes, and humans. The study of humans is relegated to the social sciences (that is, anthropology, geography, psychology, and sociology) and, although humans are primates, the study of humans is not included as part of primatology. Primatology, in contrast, is generally viewed as part of the life sciences. Nonhuman primates have been studied by psychologists, zoologists, and biological anthropologists in both the laboratory and in their natural habitats. In general, biological anthropologists study NHP under semi-natural conditions or in their natural habitat. Primates are eutherian (that is, placental) mammals having, for example, hair, mammary glands for nursing their offspring, a physiology for maintaining a constant body temperature, and different types of teeth identified as incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. The ...