Site icon Conservation news

Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide – book review

Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide is stunning. There is simply no better way I can think of to gain an appreciation of the primate family than to peruse Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide.



The illustrations are rich and individual. They bring out the characteristics of each species in a unique manner. Simply seen as art, the illustrations stand alone as remarkable. Adding in their curatorial and conservation value, these illustrations by François Desbordes accompanied by Jean-Jacques Petter’s authoritative text, ranks Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide as one of the top illustrated and photographic guidebooks I have reviewed. Alongside The World’s Rarest Birds and The Unfeathered Bird, this book is simply remarkable.



The text includes easy-to-read sections on primate evolution, adaption to various ecological systems, social behaviors, and competition. Each primate is beautifully illustrated. Descriptive life histories are also provided alongside population distribution maps.



This is a very powerful, comprehensive, up-to-date, and beautifully illustrated book. I will let the images speak for themselves.






Gibbons. Illustration by: Francois Desbordes.

Gibbons. Illustration by: Francois Desbordes.






Gorillas. Illustration by: Francois Desbordes.




Lemurs. Illustration by: Francois Desbordes.


Please note: All images © Princeton University Press. No part of this book may be distributed, posted, or reproduced in any form by digital or mechanical means without prior written permission of the publisher.
How to order:







How to order:



Paperback: Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Authors: Jean-Jacques Petter and François Desbordes, translated by Robert Martin

ISBN: 9780691156958







Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Certified Ecologist is a frequent contributor to Mongabay.com.







Related articles


Bornean orangutans travel along the ground

(09/12/2013) A recent study of forest in East Kalimantan, Borneo has found that orangutans travel on the ground far more often than expected. The study, published in the American Journal of Primatology, was carried out in Wehea Forest involving the use of 78 camera traps across 38 square kilometres of forest.

Smuggler who illegally traded 500 chimps gets one year in prison

(08/27/2013) Wildlife smuggler, Ousame Diallo, who has admitted to illegally trafficking 500 endangered chimpanzees out of the Republic of Guinea, was sentenced to a year in prison in the West African country reports WWF. The arrest and charge was supported by INTERPOL and to anti-wildlife trafficking local group, GALF.

The evolution of cooperation: communal nests are best for ruffed lemurs

(08/21/2013) Raising young lemurs in communal crèches benefits both mothers and offspring, a new study has found. Andrea Baden and colleagues, of Yale University, studied a group of black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. This is the first study to examine the consequences of different parenting strategies in the ruffed lemur.

Safeguarding nine priority areas could protect all of Tanzania’s primates

(08/20/2013) Researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have recently developed a list of “Priority Primate Areas” to save Tanzania’s many primate species from extinction. A hub of unique and endangered primates, Tanzania is widely considered to be the most important mainland country for primate diversity in Africa. Approximately a third of the 27 primate species found in Tanzania are unique to the country, including the recently discovered kipunji.