Portal:Primates

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A primate is a member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains lemurs, the aye-aye, lorisids, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes, with the last category including great apes. With the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent on Earth, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of the Americas, Africa and Asia. Primates range in size from the 30-gram (1 oz) pygmy mouse lemur to the 200-kilogram (440 lb) mountain gorilla. According to fossil evidence, the primitive ancestors of primates may have existed in the late Cretaceous period around 65 mya (million years ago), and the oldest known primate is the Late Paleocene Plesiadapis, c. 55–58 mya. Molecular clock studies suggest that the primate branch may be even older, originating in the mid-Cretaceous period around 85 mya.

Primates exhibit a wide range of characteristics. Some primates do not live primarily in trees, but all species possess adaptations for climbing trees. Locomotion techniques used include leaping from tree to tree, walking on two or four limbs, knuckle-walking, and swinging between branches of trees (known as brachiation). Primates are characterized by their large brains relative to other mammals. These features are most significant in monkeys and apes, and noticeably less so in lorises and lemurs. Many species are sexually dimorphic, which means males and females have different physical traits, including body mass, canine tooth size, and coloration.

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Babakotia radofilai.jpg
Babakotia is a medium-sized, extinct genus of lemur, or strepsirrhine primate, from Madagascar that contains a single species, Babakotia radofilai. Together with Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Mesopropithecus, it forms the family Palaeopropithecidae, commonly known as the sloth lemurs. The name Babakotia comes from the Malagasy name for the Indri, babakoto, to which it and all other sloth lemurs are closely related. Babakotia radofilai and all other sloth lemurs share many traits with living sloths, demonstrating convergent evolution. It had long forearms, curved digits, and highly mobile hip and ankle joints. Its skull was more heavily built than that of indriids, but not as much as in the larger sloth lemurs. Its dentition is similar to that of all other indriids and sloth lemurs. It lived in the northern part of Madagascar and shared its range with at least two other sloth lemur species, Palaeopropithecus ingens and Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion. Babakotia radofilai was primarily a leaf-eater (folivore), though it also ate fruit and hard seeds. It is known only from subfossil remains and may have died out prior to the arrival of humans on the island, but not enough radiocarbon dating has been done with this species to know for certain.

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Cscr-featured.svg Credit: Whaldener Endo

The white-fronted capuchin, Cebus albifrons, is a species of capuchin monkey, a type of New World primate, found in seven different countries in South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. The species is divided into several different subspecies, though the specific divisions are uncertain and controversial.

Primates News

Archives: 2009

2009

August

  • August 4 - Orangutans may be going deep to deter predators, and some are even using tools to sound more intimidating, a new study says. Read more
  • August 3 - The most malignant known form of malaria may have jumped from chimpanzees to humans, according to a new study of one of the most deadly diseases in the world. Read more

July

  • July 28 - Mani the monkey uses her own mysterious methods to tend dozens of goats without any supervision or training, according to the Associated Press. Read more
  • July 8 - Monkeys can form sentences and speak in accents—and now a new study shows that our genetic relatives can also recognize poor grammar. Read more

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Callicebus donacophilus (White-eared titi)
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)|Least Concern

The white-eared titi (Callicebus donacophilus), also known as the Bolivian titi or Bolivian gray titi, is a species of titi, a type of New World monkey, from eastern Bolivia and a small area of Brazil. It is a medium-sized monkey with a grey back, orange underside and distinctive white ear tufts. It has an omnivorous diet, eating fruits, other plant materials and invertebrates. It is predated upon primarily by raptors, though felids and other monkey species have been known to attack the species. It is a monogamous species and lives in small groups of two to seven members consisting of the pair and their offspring. The family group has a home range of 0.005 to 0.14 square kilometres (0.0019 to 0.0541 sq mi) and the adults have a complex vocal repertoire to maintain their territory. It is also known for its characteristic twining of tails when groups are sitting together. White-eared titis can live for more than 25 years in captivity.

The white-eared titi population has a declining trend. The decline is believed to be mainly caused by human-induced habitat loss and degradation. Despite this, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified the species as Least Concern in 2008 as it has shown adaptability to habitat disturbance and is found over a wide range.

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