Evolving Perspectives on Anthropoidea

  • Callum F. Ross
  • Richard F. Kay
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)

Abstract

The history of Anthropoidea is the history of primatology in a microcosm. Anthropoidea, Order Primates, Semiorder Haplorhini, Suborder, Anthropoidea is a particularly useful lens through which to focus on the history of primatology because from its roots in pre-evolutionary classifications, through its polyphyletic status under Simpsonian systematics, to its current conception as a monophyletic group, Anthropoidea has persisted as a “natural” group with relatively stable content. This essay examines how this common content has been imbued with different meanings by changing conceptions of classification and explanation in biology. In addition, just as studies of anthropoid phylogeny provide insight into extant anthropoids themselves, this essay aims to provide insight into the roots of current ideas about anthropoid origins. Thus, this brief survey provides historical background, placing the work of our colleagues in historical perspective, and examines the foundations of what we believe about anthropoid evolution today.

Keywords

Retina Cretaceous Posit Miocene Bark 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Callum F. Ross
    • 1
  • Richard F. Kay
    • 2
  1. 1.Anatomical SciencesStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Biological Anthropology and AnatomyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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