The Order Primates
  Most primates are relatively unspecialised, tree-dwelling mammals, having limbs with five digits but showing a tendency towards the development of grasping hands and feet. They generally have nails instead of claws. The eyes are near the front of the head and set close together so that both look in the same direction - providing stereoscopic vision and judgement of distances - and the sense of smell is less important than the senses of vision, hearing and touch. Apart from man, whose distribution is world-wide, most primates live in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Sub-Order Prosimii
This sub-order contains the more primitive primates, which have long snouts and eyes which do not face directly forwards.
Family Tupaiidae
Tree Shrews: 20 species
This ancient family is sometimes included with the insect-eating mammals. Tree-shrews outwardly look like long-nosed squirrels. The scrotum, unlike that of other primates, lies in front of the penis. they have long and supple digits with sharp, moderately curved claws. All live in tropical forests in Asia.
tree shrew image
Family Lemuridae
Lemurs: 15 species
They are the most abundant of the primates of Madagascar. Their lower incisor teeth are modified to form a fur-grooming comb, unlike those of the tree-shrews. The fingers and toes bear nails, but there is a long grooming claw on each second toe. The thumb and big toe are opposable to the other digits.
Lemur image
Family Indriidae
Members of this family are similar to lemurs except that they climb with a hand-over-hand movement, cling in an erect position to vertical branches, and move on the ground by hopping because their legs are much longer than their arms. Strictly vegetarian, they feed on leaves and fruit.
Indri image
Family Daubentoniidae
There is one species the Aye-aye Daubentonia madagascariensis found in forests of northern Madagascar. The aye-aye has a single rodent-like incisor on each side of each jaw, and gnaws a hole in bark where its sensitive ears have located an insect; it then inserts its wiry middle finger and impales a grub.
Family Lorisidae
Lorises, pottos and bush-babies: 11 species
Lorises and pottos are well adapted for slow movement, so that they can creep up undetected on birds. Their hands and feet are specialised for grasping; the first digit is opposable and very strong. Bush-babies have long tails, large eyes, and large mobile ears which can be folded. They are vertical clingers, and they tend to hop on their hind legs when on the ground. All are nocturnal. Like lemurs they have a tooth comb.
Slow lorisimage
Family Tarsiidae
Tarsiers: 3 species
Tarsiers have flattened faces, very large eyes, round skulls and no tooth comb. The legs are elongated, especially the tarsus bones, and the scaly, naked underside of the tail is used to provide support. Tarsiers are active only at night, when they leap through the trees from trunk to trunk. All live in south-east Asia.
Tarsier image

Sub-Order Anthropoidea
This sub-order includes the higher primates, which possess a short snout and full stereoscopic vision. It is divided into two infra-orders: the Platyrrhini (the first two families) and the Catarrhini (the three other families), which may have evolved independently from prosimians. The platyrrhines, with wide-apart, sideways-facing nostrils, are entirely South American, whereas the catarrhines, with close-together, downward-facing nostrils, are found in Africa and Asia.
Family Callitrichidae
Marmosets and tamarins: 21 species
These small monkeys have claws on all digits except the great toe, and do not use their tails for clinging. All are active by day.
Tamarin image
Family Cebidae
Cebid monkeys: 26 species
These monkeys, which have nails on all their fingers and toes, are larger than marmosets, and tend to move less jerkily. Some species have prehensile tails.
Cebid monkey image (howler monkey)
Family Cercopithecidae
Old World monkeys: 60 species
This is the first family of the catarrhine infra-order. Old World monkeys walk on all fours, have some facial expression, and the males have dagger-like canine teeth. The family includes two distinct groups: the colobines, with complex stomachs for feeding on leaves, and the omnivorous cercopithecines, which have simple stomachs and large cheek pouches in which food can be stored.
Old world monkey image (mandrill)
Family Pongidae
Apes: 9 species
Like man and unlike other primates, apes have no tail, long arms and highly developed brains; they are man's closest living relatives.
Ape image(Gorilla)
Family Hominidae
There is one species: Humans Homo sapiens range throughout the world because of there ability to modify or create environments. The family evolved from ape-like ancestors about 26 million years ago, although modern humans did not appear until about 40,000 years ago. Humans are distinguished from other primates by their highly developed brains (enabling them to have a complex spoken language), their erect posture (involving considerable modification of the skeleton and muscles so that the body can be balanced on two legs), and sparse body hair.
Human image (sort of!)

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