Understanding evolutionary processes requires knowledge of the context in which specific events took place, including the chronological and the environmental contexts.
Contributions to this special issue of Folia Primatologica highlight the importance of an accurate chronological context for interpretations of the origins of primates and of their response to the onset of Cenozoic global cooling. They discuss the influence of palaeogeography and climate change on the first appearance of primates in the fossil record, the evolution and dispersals of the Miocene apes and of early representatives of the genus Homo, the Old World monkey radiation and primate visual signalling. Also considered is the effect humans are now having on the course of primate evolution, as seen in recent megafaunal extinctions in Madagascar and as exemplified by the complexity of parameters involved in informing future conservation strategies.
The broad taxonomic, chronological and methodological scope of this publication creates a valuable overview of the diversity of environmental parameters involved in shaping primate evolution. It encourages new perspectives and highlights important areas for future interdisciplinary research in evolutionary primatology.
Special Issue: Folia Primatologica 2007, Vol. 78, No. 5-6