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The Human Nature Review Human Nature Review  2002 Volume 2: 384 ( 17 September )
URL of this document http://human-nature.com/nibbs/02/hartwig.html

Book Review

The Primate Fossil Record
edited by W. C. Hartwig
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002

Reviewed by Ralph L. Holloway, Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. USA.

This volume, carefully edited and arranged by Walter Hartwig, is a necessary addition to what has become an almost exploding field of endeavor, the study of our own human and other primate evolutionary lines. The pace of fossil discoveries, particularly of hominids, requires a single location from which one can examine the finds in terms of photographs and descriptions, and find the relevant published literature. This is no easy task, but this book, despite the lack of the most recent Dmanisi and Sahelanthropus finds announced this Spring, is a treasure-trove of up-to-date descriptive and interpretative summaries. It is also nice to see the book dedicated to F. Clark Howell and Elwyn Laverne Simons, who contributed so much (and still are) in their lifetimes to fossil discoveries and descriptions.

There are 26 Chapters in all, ranging from the earliest prosimians (5 chapters), to the origin and diversification of anthropoid primates (6 chapters), to he fossil record of early catarrhines and Old World monkeys (4 chapters), to The fossil record of hominoid primates (5 chapters) and ending up with the fossil record for human ancestry (4 chapters), the latter written by stellar paleoanthropologists such as Henry McHenry, Tim D. White, Holly Dunsworth and Alan Walker, and Fred Smith, simply to pick out those paleontological areas with which the reviewer is most familiar. Indeed all of the chapters are of a high quality, and will provide important up-to-date reviews of these fossil primates. The photographs are exceptionally good, and it is a pleasure to have this volume in my possession. This will be a must for any paleoanthropologist or paleontologist working on fossil primates. The Editor and Cambridge deserve kudos for this product.

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© Ralph L. Holloway.


Holloway, R. L. (2002). Review of The Primate Fossil Record edited by W. C. Hartwig. Human Nature Review. 2: 384.

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