primates


The word primate has an etymological origin in Latin. To be more specific, it is derived from “primas, primatis”, whose meaning can be “first” or “main”. This term describes an order of mammals that, in turn, can be divided into two suborders: the haplorhines and the strepsirrhines. It should be noted that human beings are part of the haplorhine suborder located within the order of primates.

In themselves, these are a group of plantigrade mammals that have five fingers on their extremities and that have opposable thumbs to the rest. The oldest evidence of these mammals dates back to 58 million years ago, however experts maintain the hypothesis that this order could have arisen about 85 million years ago.

Within the field of biology, Carlos Linnaeus, a biologist of Swedish origin, was in charge of selecting this word in his “Naturae System” in order to designate the species that he considered to be at the head of the animal kingdom, which are humans and monkeys. , among which the only difference was the ability to speak, considering both as anthropomorphic.

This arose during the Paleocene, approximately 60,000,000 years ago. In addition to them, they make up several species, such as the leumoroidea, among which the lemur catta stands out, small in size, with a pair of breasts on the thorax and another on the abdomen; the tarsiers, as is the case of the nocturnal tarsius spectrum, which has long hind limbs and large orbits; and the apes.

Some of the characteristics of primates are the following: they belong to the genus of mammals, they have long limbs and pentadactyls, that is, they have 5 fingers, the thumb being opposable and all of them end in nails and not in claws, like many others. other species. For their part, the cerebral hemispheres are considerably developed, while the eyes have a forward direction, since they are located in front of the skull, on the face, which by the way is not very large. On the other hand, their teeth lack specialization and their sense of smell is dim, compared to other species. They have two pectoral breasts and their body is protected with hair.