Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

Fossil Primates

  • Discusses the genetic bases underlying anatomy in an evolutionary development ('evo-devo') framework – novel anatomical structures are explained in connection with the exploding field of experimental embryology
  • Investigates how fossil primates fit within evolutionary patterns seen among other mammals – species and speciation, extinction, and rates of evolutionary change are examined
  • Examines the formation of fossils and the nature of the fossil record – by incorporating geological processes with paleontology, the reader can easily understand how fossil primates can preserve events of the past

Series: Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology Volume: 70

By: Susan Cachel(Author)

299 pages, 103 b/w photos and illustrations, 8 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 2015 | #215973 | ISBN-13: 9780521183024
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £39.99 $56/€45 approx
Hardback | Apr 2015 | #215972 | ISBN-13: 9781107005303
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £76.99 $108/€87 approx

About this book

Reconstructing the paleobiology of fossil non-human primates, Fossil Primates is intended as an exposition of non-human primate evolution that includes information about evolutionary theory and processes, paleobiology, paleoenvironment, how fossils are formed, how fossils illustrate evolutionary processes, the reconstruction of life from fossils, the formation of the primate fossil record, functional anatomy, and the genetic bases of anatomy. Throughout, the emphasis of Fossil Primates is on the biology of fossil primates, not their taxonomic classification or systematics, or formal species descriptions. The author draws detailed pictures of the paleoenvironment of fossil primates, including contemporary animals and plants, and ancient primate communities, emphasizing our ability to reconstruct lifeways from fragmentary bones and teeth, using functional anatomy, stable isotopes from enamel and collagen, and high resolution CT-scans of the cranium. Fossil Primates will be essential reading for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in evolutionary anthropology, primatology and vertebrate paleobiology.



1. Introduction: primates in evolutionary time
2. Primate taxonomy
3. Fossils and fossilization
4. The world of the past
5. The lifeways of extinct animals
6. Evolutionary processes and the pattern of primate evolution
7. Primate origins
8. The Paleocene primate radiation
9. The Eocene primate radiation
10. The Malagasy primate radiation
11. The Oligocene bottleneck
12. Rise of the anthropoids
13. The platyrrhine radiation
14. The Miocene hominoid radiation
15. The cercopithecoid radiation
16. Late Cenozoic climate changes
17. Conclusions


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Susan Cachel is Professor of Physical Anthropology at Rutgers University. She is on the Executive Committee of the Rutgers Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES) since 2010 and a member of the graduate interdisciplinary Quaternary Studies Program at Rutgers since 2000. She has taught and performed research at the Koobi Fora Field School in northern Kenya, and she is currently a research associate of the Kenya National Museums (Nairobi). She was recently elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for 'incisive contributions to hominization theory, the role of nutritional fat in human occupation of high latitudes, and primate evolution'. Her previous title, Primate and Human Evolution, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006.

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