Read: This lab is about how different species of primates are scientifically categorized.* Primates are an order of mammals with characteristics and behaviors that are different from other mammals. Humans (Homo sapiens) are classified as Primates. Today, now that researchers have the ability to map the genomes (DNA codes) of primates, they are categorized based on their genetic relatedness or phylogenetic taxonomy.** It is important that you know how the scientific classifications for, and how to tell the difference between, about 20 species of non-human primates for this lab. Many of them you probably already know like chimpanzees or howler monkeys. [Note: We are skipping Ex. 8 in the Lab Manual for Anth 111–just like we skipped Ex. 4. ]

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Lab # 8 is the online version of Exercise 9 “The Living Primates” in the Lab Manual Anth 111, 7th Edition.

  • My lecture slides “Primate Taxonomy” (PDF):
  • My pre-recorded and captioned lecture:
  • How primates are classified:
  • Exercise 9 The Living Primates in Lab Manual of Anth 111(PDF): (Updated PDF file with page 82 questions)
  • LAVC Lab Manual (Word doc):

Some Major Primate Classifications

Strepsirrhine (photo: Ring-Tail Lemur) SUBORDER Haplorrhine (photo: Tarsier) SUBORDER Platyrrhine > Atelidae (photo: Spider Monkey) PARVORDER Catarrhine >Cercopithecoidea (photo: Mandrill) PARVORDER Haplorrhine > Catarrhine > Hominoidea (photo: Gorilla) FAMILY Haplorrhine > Catarrhine > Hominoidea > Hominini (photo: Humans (Young Jane Goodall, her husband, and child) TRIBE


Complete the following exercises in the lab manual according to the directions modified for this online class:

  1. Ex. 9.1 “An Exercise in Classification” (p. 73-74) Do the exercise on page 74 using household items or other things (like shoes, cups/glasses, cookware, shirts, makeup, toys, automobiles, dice, pens/pencils, etc).
  2. Ex. 9.2 “Classifying the Living Primates” (p. 74-82) Answer the questions on page 82.
  3. Ex. 9.3 The Primates of the Los Angeles Zoo (pages 83-87). Use the Los Angeles Zoo website ( to complete the charts on pages 86-87.
  • (1) Instead of an in-person field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo, you will complete Ex. 9.4 on pages 98-99 using the LA Zoo website’s “Mammals” page. Updated link:
  • (2) For each primate’s scientific name and family, refer to pages 94-95 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (6th Edition). You can also find this information on (except “family”) and Wikipedia.
  • (3) For each primate’s “Mode of locomotion” answer at the bottom of pages 86 and 87, refer to the different modes of locomotion and primate species on pages 119-120 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (6th Edition).

    –> Compare different primate species listed on the Los Angeles Zoo website online. Updated link:

  • (1) My lecture slides for my Anth 101 class “Primate Classifications” (PDF) has answers to some of the exercises for Ex. 9 in the Lab Manual for Anth 111. Link:
  • (2) LA Zoo website. Updated link:
  • (3) Under Exercise 9.3 “The Primates at the Los Angeles Zoo” on page 94, there is a list of primate species under “Common Name, Scientific Name, and Family Name” in the Lab Manual for Anth 111 on pages 94-95.
  • (4) Below is an example to help you complete the chart on page 87 for the column titled “Human”
    Common name: “Human” or “Anatomically Modern Human” (AMH) as paleoanthropologists like to refer to our speciesScientific name: See page 83 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (6th Edition) + our species: “sapiens”. It should be written exactly like this: Homo sapiens. Family: See page 83 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (7th Edition). Estimate size: How big are humans typically? You can find this information on Wikipedia under “Human.” You can find the size of non-human primates on the website as well as other sites (like Degree of sexual dimorphism. This means differences in size and other characteristics of males and females of the same species. For world-class athletic humans (like Olympic track and field athletes) is around 10-15%. Males are larger, stronger, and faster compared to females in general. I found some information on that on the Northern Arizona State website. Link: Color: What do you think considering our species’ worldwide diversity?Sexual dichromatism: If you know what this term means, the answer is an easy one! (Hint: See page 95 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (6th Edition)).

    Presence of a tail: This means do humans have external tails? (Normally…Like for 99.9% of us. Oh, come on…You know the correct answer! )Is the tail prehensile? “N/A” (Not Applicable)Strepsirrhine/Haplorrhine? See page 81 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (7th Edition). Look for “Genus: Homo”…If Haplorrhine, platyrrhine/catarrhine (pick one) See page 81 of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (7th Edition)Mode of locomotion: See page 105 under “Exercise 12.1 Patterns of Primate Locomotion” of the Lab Manual for Anth 111 (7th Edition)

5. Study Questions: Please answer Study Questions 1-7 for this lab (page 89)

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