Dictionary > Prosimian

Prosimian

Definition
noun, plural: prosimians
Any of the primitive, nocturnal primates, such as lemurs, lorisoids, haplorrhine tarsiers, etc.
Supplement
Primates are placental mammals that may be grouped into prosimians and simians. Prosimians are characterized by their rather primitive features compared with those of simians. They include lemurs, lorisoids, tarsiers, adapiforms, and non-simian omomyids. Simians include hominins, apes, and monkeys. The simian line and the tarsier line diverged during the Cenozoic era, i.e. about 60 million years ago.
The prosimians are characterized morphologically by having large ears and eyes. They lack the colour vision but they have an enhanced vision under low-light conditions. They are nocturnal and arboreal predators. Their diet is comprised largely of insects and small animals. They also have two laterally flattened grooming claws used for personal grooming. However, the position of the grooming claws may vary. For instance, the grooming claws are found on the second and third toes of the tarsiers whereas those in lemurs and lorises are found on the second toe.
The prosimians are paraphyletic group. Apart from the non-tarsier prosimians belonging to the suborder Strepsirrhini of the order Primates, they also include the tarsiers and the omonyiforms belonging to the suborder Haplorrhini.
Word origin: Greek pro (before) + Latin simius, simia (ape)
See also:


You will also like...

Protein (illustration)
Protein Variety

The sequence of amino acids determines the type of protein. Protein is synthesized according to the sequence of nucleoti..

Electromagnetic spectrum of a brain
Sleep and Dreams – Neurology

While learning and intelligence are associated with the functions of a conscious mind, sleep and dreams are activities o..

Homo Species
The Homo Species

The evolution of the species of the genus "Homo" led to the emergence of modern humans. Find out more about human evolut..

An artistic depiction of a human embryo
Growth and Development of a Human Baby

Upon fertilization, a zygote forms and develops into an embryo. This tutorial elaborates on the growth and development f..

An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
Amphibians & Early Reptiles

Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..

Plant biology
Plant Biology

Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..