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Keywords:

  • primates;
  • primate evolution;
  • arboreality

Abstract

Most primates live in trees, and many of them have strikingly human-like hands and faces. Scientists who study primate evolution agree that these two facts must be connected in some way. The details, however, are a matter of debate. Early theories explained the human-like peculiarities of primates simply as arboreal adaptations. More recent accounts have traced the origins of these peculiarities to more specific ways of arboreal life, involving leaping locomotion, shrub-layer foraging, visually guided predation on insects, or fruit-eating.