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The Primate Fossil Record

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  • Ian Pitchford
    All reviews are first published in New Scientist print edition, subscribe here The Primate Fossil Record edited by Walter Hartwig £120 Cambridge AS A club,
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 2, 2002
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      All reviews are first published in New Scientist print edition, subscribe
      here

      The Primate Fossil Record
      edited by Walter Hartwig
      £120 Cambridge

      AS A club, we're pretty select. Primates include ourselves and our
      biologically nearest and dearest, the monkeys and apes, their extinct fossil
      forms and even the odd archbishop - the name means foremost. Given to us 244
      years ago by the Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus, the grouping dismayed some
      people.

      That delayed acceptance of our evolutionary links to the other primates
      until the late 19th century. Since then primatologists have made up for lost
      time, naming and describing a host of fossil primates - it's high time a
      latter-day Linnaeus or two tidied things up.

      In The Primate Fossil Record, American anatomist Walter Hartwig and his
      30 co-authors have done just that. The result is an immensely useful
      illustrated review of our extended family and its evolution over the last 60
      million years. Although primarily designed for students of the subject, with
      hardcore taxonomy and so on, there are nevertheless plenty of more accessible
      discussions covering the whole of primate evolution and the history of the
      discipline. An essential reference for any university library.

      Douglas Palmer
      http://www.newscientist.com/opinion/opbooks.jsp?id=ns236324

      The Primate Fossil Record
      by Walter Carl Hartwig (Editor)
      Hardcover: 608 pages
      Publisher: Cambridge University Press; ISBN: 0521663156; (May 2002)
      AMAZON - US
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521663156/darwinanddarwini/
      AMAZON - UK
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521663156/humannaturecom/

      Book Description
      The Primate Fossil Record is a profusely illustrated, up-to-date, and
      comprehensive treatment of primate paleontology that captures the complete
      history of the discovery and interpretation of primate fossils. Each chapter
      emphasizes three key components of the record of primate evolution: history of
      discovery, taxonomy of the fossils, and evolution of the adaptive radiations
      they represent. The volume objectively summarizes the many intellectual debates
      surrounding the fossil record and provides a foundation of reference
      information on the last two decades of astounding discoveries and worldwide
      field research for physical anthropologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary
      biologists.
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