Matthew J. Ravosa, Marian Dagosto (eds): Primate Origins: Adaptations and Evolution
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Primate Origins is a weighty tome, both literally and figuratively. It tips the scales at 1.3 kg, roughly equivalent to the body mass of an adult female Hapalemur simus. The book derives from an international symposium on primate origins, which was organized and hosted by the editors in Chicago in December 2001. I was set to attend the symposium as it was originally scheduled (in September 2001), but the terrorist attacks of that month delayed the symposium until later that year. Judging from the book, the symposium must have been rife with the academic give and take that characterizes any large topic of active scientific inquiry. I am sorry to have missed it, but I am glad to be able to follow its results in this stimulating volume.
As the editors and most of the contributors to Primate Originsacknowledge, phylogenetic context is a prerequisite for understanding anything meaningful about primate origins. For better or worse, establishing the phylogenetic context for primates (i.e.,...
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