Delson, Eric Lehman College and Graduate Center, The City University of New York; Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:February 2020
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- Early primates
- Eocene primates
- Modern lower primates
- New World primates
- Old World monkeys
- Spread of modern ape ancestors
- Human evolution
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Extinct members of the order of mammals to which humans belong. All current classifications divide the living primates (order Primates) into two major groups (suborders) [Fig. 1]: the Strepsirhini (Strepsirrhini) or "lower" primates (lemurs, lorises, and bushbabies) and the Haplorhini (Haplorrhini) or "higher" primates [tarsiers and anthropoids (New and Old World monkeys, greater and lesser apes, and humans)]. Some fossil groups (omomyiforms and adapiforms) can be placed with or near these two extant groupings; however, there is contention whether members of the Plesiadapiformes represent the earliest relatives of primates and are best placed within the order (as done here) or outside it. See also: Anthropology; Biological classification; Extinction; Fossil; Mammalia; Phylogeny; Physical anthropology; Primate
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