Theropithecus: The Rise and Fall of a Primate Genus

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This unique volume provides a comprehensive and up-to-date examination of all aspects of the biology of the Old World monkey genus Theropithecus, an animal which evolved alongside our human ancestors. The authors explore the fossil history and evolution of the genus, its biogeography, comparative evolutionary biology and anatomy, and the behaviour and socioecology of the living and extinct representatives of the genus. The parallels between the evolution of Theropithecus and early hominids are discussed. There are also two chapters of particular significance which describe how an innovative and exciting approach to the modelling of the causes of species' extinction can be used with great success. This highly multi-disciplinary approach provides a rare and insightful account of the evolutionary biology of this fascinating and once highly successful group of primates. Theropithecus will be of interest to researchers in the fields of primatology, anthropology, palaeontology, and mammalian behaviour, physiology and anatomy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" impressive array of approaches to understanding this other group of late Neogene large African terrestrial primates." Gregory J. Retallack, Priscum

"...As a primate, theropiths are important for our evolution. This volume is a fine study of the genus, and it is highly recommended." New York Paleontological Society

"Nina Jablonski's book should introduce a wider audience to the geladas, and seve as an indispensible reference for those who work on the genus and anyone with an interest in the Plio-Pleistocene....I feel that this is a very valuable book and that the editor, authors and publisher have accomplished a great serice in producing this volume." Journal of Human Evolution

"It is a tour de force. The layout, typesetting, the quality of the photographs, and even the jacket illustration are first rate. The contributors hail from eight different countries and are all experts in their respective fields. But its content and organization are where this volume truly excels. The editor, Nina Jablonski, has done a superb job, uniting the topics of the volume into four main sections....The topical coverage of Theropithecus in this fine volume is nearly perfect....[T]he volume will remain an important source of information about this unusual primate well into the twenty-first century. This is a volume that every primatologist, primate paleontologist and all sentient paleoanthropologists should have on their shelves....Nina Jablonski deserves thanks from all of us for assembling this wonderful work." Russell L. Ciochon, Evolutionary Anthropology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521411059
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/1993
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1 Introduction 3
Pt. I Fossil evidence and phylogeny
2 Theropithecus darti from the Hadar Formation, Ethiopia 15
3 Evolution of Theropithecus in the Turkana Basin 85
4 Are Papio baringensis R. Leakey, 1969, and P. quadratirostris lwamoto, 1982, species of Papio or Theropithecus? 125
5 Theropithecus fossils from Africa and India and the taxonomy of the genus 157
6 Theropithecus from Ternifine, Algeria 191
7 The Phylogeny of Theropithecus 209
Pt. II Biogeography and evolutionary biology
8 Climate change, biogeography and Theropithecus 227
9 African terrestrial primates: the comparative evolutionary biology of Theropithecus and the Hominidae 245
Pt. III Anatomy of the fossil and living species of Theropithecus
10 Allometric aspects of skull morphology in Theropithecus 273
11 Evolution of the masticatory apparatus in Theropithecus 299
12 Dental microwear and diet in extant and extinct Theropithecus: preliminary analyses 331
13 The development and microstructure of the dentition of Theropithecus 351
14 Postcranial anatomy of extant and extinct species of Theropithecus 383
Pt. IV Behaviour and ecology of living and fossil species of Theropithecus
15 Social organization of the gelada 425
16 The ecology of Theropithecus gelada 441
17 Food digestion and energetic conditions in Theropithecus gelada 453
18 Socioecology of the extinct theropiths: a modelling approach 465
19 Ecological energetics and extinction of giant gelada baboons 487
Appendix I: A partial catalogue of fossil remains of Theropithecus 499
Appendix II: Conservation status of the gelada 527
Index 533
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