Monday, July 12, 2010

What is Primatology?

Although Primatology is mainly defined as the scientific study of primates, the definition itself is admittedly broad. Without a doubt, ardent readers of The Prancing Papio know what Primatology is but would you rather define Primatology in a much more descriptive manner? I am for the broad definition of Primatology although it is somewhat vague. I mean, what's easier than to tell people you study primates right? Of course there are times when you actually have to explain what primates are.

I found this interesting article by Erwin (1981), Breadth and Balance in Primatology, that tallies the top twenty areas in Primatology based on numbers of publications reference during 1980. It is interesting to see that "Nervous System" made it to the top of the list (13.4% out of 3809 papers were on nervous system). Less than 10% out of 3809 papers published were on behavior. I'm quite interested to see what the top twenty areas in Primatology in 1990, 2000 and 2009 are. Maybe I'll have to do this research myself. Hmmm ...

Anyway, I found what Erwin addresses in his paper rings true with The Prancing Papio. For awhile now, I've been trying to find a balance in this blog by blogging about a wide topic in Primatology while trying to avoid covering heavily on a certain area of study. However, "materials" seem to come in waves and there are times when I literally have nothing to write about. Sometimes I am left hitting the proverbial wall.

Erwin, J. 1981. Breadth and Balance in Primatology. American Journal of Primatology 1:261-263.


seriousmonkeybusiness said...

I'm curious to see what effects conservation and ethnoprimatology will have had to the field considering they're both fairly new additions.

learn primatology said...

Learning primatology is very difficult.