PRIMATE  ORDER TAXONOMY
(only major species groups are included in this table) 1
 

Suborder Infraorder Parvorder Superfamily Family Subfamily

Common Names

Distribution

Strepsirrhini
(strepsirrhines:
primates with moist noses.)

(also known as prosimians)
Lemuriformes
(lemurs)
    Lemuridae
(true lemurs)
  ring-tailed, and ruffed lemurs Madagascar and
Comoro Islands (for
some species)
Lepilemuridae   sportive lemurs
Cheirogaleidae
(dwarf lemurs)
  dwarf and mouse lemurs
Indriidae   indris, avahis, and sifakas Madagascar
Daubentoniidae   aye-ayes
Lorisiformes
(lorises)
    Loridae   lorises, pottos, and
angwantibos
lorises--India and
Southeast Asia;
others--Africa
Galagonidae   galagos (or bush babies) sub-Saharan Africa
and Zanzibar
Haplorrhini
(haplorrhines:
primates with dry noses)
Tarsiiformes 2
(tarsiers)
    Tarsiidae   tarsiers Philippines, Borneo,
Celebes Islands, and
Sumatra
Simiformes
(anthropoids)
Platyrrhini
(New World monkeys)
  Callitricidae Calitricinae marmosets and tamarins Panama and north
and eastern South
America
Cebidae 3 Cebinae squirrel and capuchin monkeys forested areas of
Central America
and/or north and
eastern South
America
Aotinae night and titi monkeys
Atelinae howler and spider monkeys
Pithecinae uakaris and sakis
Catarrhini
(Old World monkeys,
apes and humans)
Cercopithecoidea
(Old World monkeys)
  Cercopithecinae guenons, vervets, baboons,
 macaques, etc.
guenons and
baboons--Africa;
macaques--northwest
Africa, Gibraltar,
South and East Asia
Colobinae colobuses, langurs, and
proboscis monkeys
colobuses--Central
Africa; langurs--India
and Southeast Asia;
proboscis monkeys--
Borneo
Hominoidea
(apes and humans)
Hylobatidae
(lesser apes)
  gibbons and siamangs Southeast Asia
Hominidae 4
(hominids--great
apes and humans)
Ponginae orangutans Sumatra and
Borneo
Gorillinae gorillas Central and West
Africa
Homininae chimpanzees and bonobos Central and West Africa
humans originally only tropical
tropical and subtropical
regions of Africa
1     Some researchers prefer an alternate classification that divides the primates into 2 suborders:  Prosimii (lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers) and Anthropoidea (monkeys, apes, and humans).  To see what this classification system looks like click here.  The taxonomy of the Primate Order is likely to be modified over the next few years as a result of the discovery of new species and the use of DNA sequencing data.  At present, there are differences of opinion as to the placement of some species.  Several of these differences are referred to in footnotes 2-4 below.
2 Some taxonomists consider tarsiers to be a distinct suborder, the Tarsioidea.
3 Some taxonomists consider the spider and howler monkeys to be in a separate family, the Atelidae.
4 There is an on-going debate as to how close Humans are to the African apes.  Some taxonomists consider them to be in a separate family, the Pongidae.  This would leave humans in their own family, the Hominidae.  In the taxonomic system shown above, humans are combined with the great apes but are separated from them at a lower classification category--the tribe.  Humans are assigned to the tribe Hominini while chimpanzees and bonobos are relegated to the tribe Panini.  This reflects a growing consensus among primatologists.

     

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