How Primates Invented the Rainforest and Vice Versa

  • Robert W. Sussman


Fruiting trees in tropical forests depend for their existence on the animals that eat their fruit. Seeds falling below the parent plant are less likely to survive than those dispersed at a distance (Janzen, 1970; Clark and Clark, 1984; Howe et al., 1985). Primates, along with birds and bats, are the most important dispersers of seeds in the tropics (Howe, 1980, 1989; Terborgh, 1986; Fleming et al., 1987; Stiles, 1989). Of course, this was not always the case, and the evolutionary history of tropical rainforests and primates are intricately related. In fact, one might say they helped create one another through a long process of diffuse coevolution (Herrera, 1984).


Late Cretaceous Large Seed Tropical Rainforest Primate Origin Modern Family 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Sussman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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