The goals of this volume are twofold. First, it aims to provide a novel focus on adaptive explanations for cranial and postcranial features and functional complexes, socioecological systems, life history patterns, etc. in early primates. Second, it aims to offer a detailed rendering of the phylogenetic affinities of such basal taxa to later primate clades as well as to other early/recent mammalian orders. Thus, in addition to the strictly paleontological or systemic questions regarding Primate Origins, the editors plan to concentrate on the adaptive significance of primate characteristics. These questions are best approached through both paleontological and neontological comparative research on a variety of primate and non-primate materials.
The volume is timely because it capitalizes on an increasing and important degree of novel independent museum, field and laboratory based research on many of the important outstanding issues regarding primate origins. Furthermore, by intergrating such a disparate sources of experimental, comparative, paleontological, ecological and molecular information into a single edited volume, it provides the broadest possible perspective on early primate phylogeny and the adaptive uniqueness of the Order Primates.
A Molecular Classification for the Living Orders of Placental Mammals and the Phylogentic Placement of Primates.- New Light on the Dates of Primate Origins and Divergence.- The Postcranial Morphology of Ptilocerus lowii (Scandentia Tupaiidae) and its Implications for Primate Supraordinal Relationships.- Primate Origins: A Reapprasial of Historical Data Favoring Tupaiid Affinities.- Primate Taxonomy, Plesiadapiformes, and Approaches to Primate Origins.- Jaw-Muscle and the Origin of Primates.- Were Basal Primates Nocturnal? Evidence from Eye and Orbit Shape.- Oculomotor Stability and the Functions of Postorbital Bar and Septum.- Primate Origins and the Function of Circumorbital Region: What's Load Got to Do with It.- Origins of Grasping and Locomotor Adaptions in Primates: Comparative and Experimental Approaches Using an Opossum Model.- Evolvability, Limb Morphology, and Primate Origins.- Primate Gaits and Primate Origins.- Morphological Correlates of Forelimb Protraction in Quadrupedal Primates.- Ancestral Locomotor Modes, Placental Mammals, and the Origins of Euprimates: Lessons from History.- The Postcranial Morphotype of Primates.- New Skeletons of Paleocene-Eocene Plesiadapiformes: A Diversity of Arboreal Positional Behaviors in Early Primates.- Starting Small and Living Slow: Encephalization, Body Size and Life History Strategies in Primate Origins Evolution.- Evolutionary Specializations of Primate Brain Systems.- New Views on the Origin of Primate Social Organization.- Primate Bioenergetics: An Evolutionary Perspective.- Episodic Evolution of some Protein Hormones in Primates and its Implications for Primate Adaption.- Parallelisms Among Primates and Possums.- Perspectives on Primate Color Vision.
From the reviews: "The outgrowth of a conference on the adaptive/phylogenetic aspects of the group's origin, this book includes 23 chapters in four sections. ! Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." (E. Delson, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (2), 2007) "Primate Origins is a weighty tome, both literally and figuratively. ! The book derives from an international symposium on primate origins ! . Space prohibits me from elaborating further upon the numerous merits of this fine volume. It would make an excellent foundation for graduate-level seminars on primate origins. All 1.3 kg of it deserves to be read and pondered by serious students of primate evolution." (Chris Beard, International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 28, 2007)