Paleogenomics pp 353-373 | Cite as

Primate Paleogenomics

  • Krishna R. VeeramahEmail author
Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


The field of paleogenomics is revolutionizing our understanding of a variety of species, including humans, dogs, horses, and even extinct mammoths. Yet, despite sequencing over 1,000 anatomically modern and archaic human ancient genomes, there has yet to be a single paleogenome for any nonhuman primate. In this review I outline the problems facing the application of paleogenomics to nonhuman primates. The major issue is that primates are predominantly found in regions of the world that are hot and humid and have acidic soil conditions, such as tropical rainforests, where DNA preservation is poor. I then identify multiple possible directions for future research that focus on questions that could be addressed based on the existing paleontological record from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. One of these, the study of extinct lemurs, has already produced results using ancient mitogenomes that have challenged existing ideas of the lemur phylogeny based on morphology. A similar process of anthropogenic-mediated extinction could potentially be studied in the case of monkeys that once resided in Caribbean. In addition, there are also possibilities to learn more about the past history and subsequent local extinction of macaques in Europe and apes on mainland Asia during the Late Pleistocene.


Ancient DNA Extinction Gibbons Lemurs Macaques New World monkeys Orangutans Paleogenomics Primates 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and EvolutionStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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