Academic journal article Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Primate Adaptation and Evolution

Academic journal article Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Primate Adaptation and Evolution

Article excerpt

FLEAGLE, JOHN G. Primate adaptation and evolution; second edition. xviii, 596 pp., illus., maps, tables, bibliogrs. San Diego, London: Academic Press, 1999. $55.00

This second edition of John Fleagle's deservedly acclaimed textbook on primate evolutionary biology is much to be welcomed. A great deal of new research has been published in the decade since the first edition was published, and the publication of a second edition has offered an opportunity to update the story.

I am gratified to find that the essential format of the book remains unchanged. This has been perhaps the best (and I hope therefore most successful) textbook on primate evolution available: it is readable, very well illustrated, packed with information, wide-ranging in the topics it covers and, perhaps unusually for a textbook, provides a valuable source of useful information on, for example, body weight estimates for fossil species.

Much of this information has been updated and some new sections added. These include a whole new chapter on primate community ecology (a subject that barely existed when the first edition was written), a new section on life histories, a new glossary and a fully revised classification of living and fossil primates (at least down to genus level) that takes account of the latest taxonomic work. …

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