What is primatology?

By the simplest definition, primatology is the study of non-human primates. However, people will define it differently depending on the way in which they work with primates. Given the diversity in the field, examination of several definitions is required to paint a complete picture. For example:

Friderun Ankel-Simons, in “Preface to the Second Edition”, Primate Anatomy: An Introduction, 2000:

“We humans are classified together with our closest relatives among living things. Lemurs, lorises, galagos, and tarsiers are the Prosimians. Also included are monkeys of the New and the Old World, lesser apes or gibbons, greater apes, and humans as the Primates. The biological science studying humans together with their mammalian relatives, the other primates, is called primatology. Primatology only exists because humans have a unique place within the Primates. No human would pay any more attention to this group of mammals than to any other group of living creatures were it not for our unique interest in understanding our own biological nature.”

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