This volume brings together a series of papers that address the topic of reconstructing behavior in the primate fossil record. Here is offered a review of broad issues related to reconstructing various aspects of behavior - such as diet and social systems - from very different types of evidence. For example: comparative analysis and adaptation, ontogenetic evidence, paleoenvironmental and paleo-community analysis, experimental functional analysis, and comparative socioecology. Hopefully, the reader will gain a perspective on the various types of evidence that can be brought to bear on reconstructing behavior, the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and, perhaps, new approaches to the topic. The authors review not only the types of evidence that can be used to reconstruct behavior, but also the limitations of the evidence, only emphasizing the weakness of behavioral reconstruction as a basis and inspiration for further research.
1. Preface; J.M. Plavcan, et al. 2. Adaptation and behavior in the primate fossil record; C.F. Ross, et al. 3. Functional morphology and in vivo bone strain patterns in the craniofacial region of primates: beware of biomechanical stories about fossil bones; W.L. Hylander, K.R. Johnson. 4. On the interface between ontogeny and function; M.J. Ravosa, C.J. Vinyard. 5. Dental ontogeny and life-history strategies: the case of the giant extinct indroids of Madagascar; L.R. Godfrey, et al. 6. A comparative approach to reconstructing the socioecology of extinct primates; C.L. Nunn, C.P. van Schaik. 7. The use of paleocommunity and taphonomic studies in reconstructing primate behavior; K.E. Reed. 8. Reconstructing diets of fossil primates; P. Ungar. 9. Reconstructing social behavior from dimorphism in the fossil record; J.M. Plavcan. 10. The adaptations of Branisella boliviana, the earliest South American monkey; R.F. Kay, et al. 11. Ecomorphology and behavior of giant extinct lemurs from Madagascar; W.L. Jungers, et al. 12. Conclusions: reconstructing behavior in the fossil record; J.M. Plavcan, et al.
'The chapters are of high quality and well focused. Recommended.' Choice, 40:4 (2002) 'One of the major challenges in primate paleontology is reconstructing the animals behaviour from its fossil remains. Unlike human archeology, where there are plenty of clues from material culture, paleontologists have much less information to work from. This book looks at the current state of the art [...] with chapters covering a broad range of techniques that can be applied and reviewing the predictions that can be made. It is firmly aimed at researchers in the field although its content might be interesting to final year undergraduates.' Primate Eye, Primate Society of Great Britain, 81 (October 2003)