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The Peaceful Primates

Smithsonian Magazine

Squirrel monkeys are becoming an important symbol for wildlife in Costa Rica. They delight researchers who study them, and weighing in at just one and a half pounds, with beautiful orange fur and expressive faces, they are irresistible to tourists. Sue Boinski, a professor of anthropology and comparative medicine at the University of Florida, has spent the past 20 years observing squirrel monkeys in Central and South America. Her research has revealed that Costa Rica's squirrel monkeys are among the most egalitarian and least aggressive primates in the world. She describes them as the peaceful primate in the peaceable kingdom. "I think they are like the tourists who love to come here to the tropical beaches," she says with a smile. "They're just looking for good food and sex."

But the future of these winsome primates is in doubt. Their forest habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate by agribusiness, including the raising of crops such as palm oil trees and bananas. The tourist industry is also booming, resulting in new construction and an increasing human population. The second-growth forest that squirrel monkeys prefer for the plentiful soft fruits and insects is rapidly disappearing. If we don't intervene soon to protect Costa Rica's squirrel monkeys, Boinski warns, the survival of these endearing primates cannot be assured.

Walking With Primates

Smithsonian Magazine

Rain Forest Primates

Smithsonian Libraries

Fossil Primate

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Light brown plaster cast of the left side mandible of Apidium phiomense. Molars are present.

Primate, Monkey

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

skull

Why Are Humans Primates?

Smithsonian Magazine

Grouped sketches of primates

Archives of American Art
1 drawing : graphite and ink ; 23 x 15 cm. Sketches in pencil, pen and ink with watercolor highlights.
Identification in upper left corner (handwritten): Red-faced monkey.
The monkeys are shown in various different poses, some sketched in full, others just details of a face, hand or foot.

Batand and Redd | Primates

National Zoo
We can always count on 3.5-year-old Bornean orangutan, Redd, to make us smile. As he crosses the O-Line with mom Batang following closely behind, he reminds us to keep calm, carry on and just keep swinging.

Two new East African primates

Smithsonian Libraries

2f Primates, Nyungwe Forest single

National Postal Museum
mint; Chimpanzee

A review of the Primates, by Daniel Giraud Elliot

Smithsonian Libraries
Also available online.

Elecresource

A hand-book to the primates / by Henry O. Forbes

Smithsonian Libraries
On spine: Monkeys.

Includes index.

Also available online.

Elecresource

A hand-book to the primates, by Henry O. Forbes

Smithsonian Libraries
On spine: Monkeys.

Also available online.

Elecresource

Hybridization in large-bodied New World primates

Smithsonian Libraries
Well-documented cases of natural hybridization among primates are not common. In New World primates, natural hybridization has been reported only for small-bodied species, but no genotypic data have ever been gathered that confirm these reports. Here we present genetic evidence of hybridization of two large-bodied species of neotropical primates that diverged 3 MYA. We used species-diagnostic mitochondrial and microsatellite loci and the Y chromosome Sry gene to determine the hybrid status of 36 individuals collected from an area of sympatry in Tabasco, Mexico. Thirteen individuals were hybrids. We show that hybridization and subsequent backcrosses are directionally biased and that the only likely cross between parental species produces fertile hybrid females, but fails to produce viable or fertile males. This system can be used as a model to study gene interchange between primate species that have not achieved complete reproductive isolation.

Primates, Miscellaneous notes and sketch, 1965

Smithsonian Field Book Project
These are M. Moynihan's miscellaneous observation notes on primates, 1965. Includes a sketch, map of forest near Valparaíso in Caquetá, Colombia including the primate colonies, and sketch of two primates. Includes table with links between Sag.g., C-mico.g., C-ubus m. Observation notes are organized by type of primate and indicate whether present, population abundance, demographics (sex and number of adults), and behaviors; and notes on correlation of primate cries and type. Some information is unidentified.

Primates and Peanuts: Testing Tool IQ

National Zoo
Two peanuts sit on a tray. One is beneath the curve of a tool; the other is beside a different tool, out of reach. Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Allen’s swamp monkey Nub Armstrong is eyeing both. Will he pick the tool that brings the peanut toward him? To examine whether guenons understand how tools work, primate keeper Erin Stromberg and University of Michigan graduate student Missy Painter have teamed up to put these monkeys’ smarts to the test. STORY: https://s.si.edu/2IVKrZj.
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