In this book, Colin Groves proposes a complete taxonomy of living primates, reviewing the history and practice of their classification and providing an up-to-date synthesis of recent molecular and phylogenetic research. He contends that the taxonomic designation of individual species is the starting point for conservation, and that the taxonomy of living species is critical to understanding evolutionary relationships. At the heart of the book are species-by-species accounts in which Groves reviews the recent history of each group and offers many new taxonomic arrangements. He evaluates several distinctive former subspecies to full species status and reestablishes the status of a number of previously overlooked taxa. Discussing the major taxonomic issues of each group, he describes the reasoning behind his conclusions and objectively offers explanations of opposing views. He also briefly outlines a possible taxonomy of fossil primates based on the taxonomy of living primates.
“Groves’s monumental book is the most comprehensive view of primate taxonomy published in decades . . . recognizing that primates are a much more diverse group than previously recognized. . . . Given that understanding taxonomic relationships among primates is essential to assessing their conservation status, he provides us with a very useful tool for primate conservation as well.”—Russell A. Mittermeier, Conservation International