Toward a phylogenetic classification of Primates based on DNA evidence complemented by fossil evidence

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1998 Jun;9(3):585-98. doi: 10.1006/mpev.1998.0495.


A highly resolved primate cladogram based on DNA evidence is congruent with extant and fossil osteological evidence. A provisional primate classification based on this cladogram and the time scale provided by fossils and the model of local molecular clocks has all named taxa represent clades and assigns the same taxonomic rank to those clades of roughly equivalent age. Order Primates divides into Strepsirhini and Haplorhini. Strepsirhines divide into Lemuriformes and Loriformes, whereas haplorhines divide into Tarsiiformes and Anthropoidea. Within Anthropoidea when equivalent ranks are used for divisions within Platyrrhini and Catarrhini, Homininae divides into Hylobatini (common and siamang gibbon) and Hominini, and the latter divides into Pongina for Pongo (orangutans) and Hominina for Gorilla and Homo. Homo itself divides into the subgenera H. (Homo) for humans and H. (Pan) for chimpanzees and bonobos. The differences between this provisional age related phylogenetic classification and current primate taxonomies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Databases as Topic
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Fossils*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Phylogeny*
  • Primates / classification*
  • Primates / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*
  • Time


  • DNA