Introduction to the Primates is a comprehensive but compact guide to the long evolutionary history of the world's prosimians, monkeys, and apes, and to the much shorter history of humankind's interactions with them, from our earliest recorded observations to the severe threats we now pose to their survival. Daris Swindler provides a detailed description of the major primate groups and their environments from the smallest lemurs of Madagascar to the gorillas of central Africa. He compares and contrasts the primate species, looking at each with a specific anatomical focus. Swindler also considers primate behavior and its close connections with environment and evolutionary differences.
Although intended as a compact introduction to primate biology, this richly comprehensive volume goes considerably beyond that. It's no surprise that seven of the 11 chapters cover primate anatomy, growth, and development. Swindler (anthropology, Univ. of Washington) is the author-editor of several scientific texts on primate anatomy, including An Atlas of Primate Gross Anatomy (1973). While covering the basics of "what is a primate?" Swindler also provides information useful for those well versed in primates, such as tables of blood groups and vital life statistics for a range of species as well as a detailed analysis of the primate brain. He ends with chapters on social behavior, evolution, and conservation. Recommended for academic and larger public library science collections.--Raymond Hamel, Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Ctr. Lib., Madison