Anthropoid Origins

Past, Present, and Future
  • John G. Fleagle
  • Richard F. Kay
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


The papers collected in this volume summarize the state of our knowledge about the origins of Anthropoidea—monkeys, apes, and humans. Considering how important this group is for understanding human evolution, and the enormous literature that has grown up around the questions of where anthropoids may have originated and from what group, there is remarkably little consensus on any aspect of this topic. As will be seen in the following review, there are proponents for an African, Asian, or, ultimately, North American or European origin for anthropoids. And different scientists believe the closest relatives of anthropoids to be the extinct Eocene groups Omomyidae or Adapidae or living Tarsius from South Asia. In this final chapter we try to pull together the major arguments put forth in earlier chapters, to summarize what we see as the major points of agreement and disagreement over anthropoid origins, to identify major gaps or confusing lines of evidence in current knowledge, and finally to lay out what we see as the most fruitful directions for future research in this area. As we hope to make clear, just because the problem of anthropoid origins remains unresolved, it is not from a lack of data relevant to the issues being addressed. Quite the contrary, we know a lot more about this topic than we did a decade ago, or even 5 years ago.


Fossil Record World Monkey Middle Eocene Sister Taxon Late Eocene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Fleagle
    • 1
  • Richard F. Kay
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Health Sciences CenterState University of New York, Stony BrookNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Anthropology and AnatomyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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