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Sri Lankan Primates: An Enthusiasts' Guide

Rohan Pethiyagoda (Author) Madura De Silva (Photography) Nadika Hapuarachchi (Photography)

Although primates account for only five of the 60 species of land-mammals known from Sri Lanka, they are paradoxically among both the best known and the least known components of the island’s rich fauna. Grey langurs and macaques are often seen on roadsides and around places of worship. Others such as the highland loris and the leucistic purple-faced leaf monkeys, however, are so rare and secretive that only a handful of specimens has been seen in the past century. Because they resemble humans in so many ways, the social behaviour of many species has come under increasing scientific scrutiny. It does not take a scientist to recognize, however, the many other ways in which these primates remind us of ourselves, not least their dexterity, facial expressions, and relationships with offspring and kin. This book celebrates the Sri Lankan primates. Placing them within the context of primates of the Indian subcontinent, it reviews the existing scientific literature and illustrates, with photographs taken over many years, many interesting aspects of their behaviour. It also discusses the threats these animals face, given that three of the species are Endangered and the other two on the way to endangerment. It also discusses and illustrates the numerous subspecies into which the five species (three of which are endemic to the island) have been divided. “Sri Lankan Primates: an Enthusiasts’ Guide” is intended to be just that: a book that draws new attention to these fascinating animals while underlining the urgent need for their conservation and further study. It is written in language that is accessible to the layperson while at the same time presenting a comprehensive summary of scientific findings over the past several decades, including a history of primatology in Sri Lanka, in itself a fascinating story. It is a ‘must-have’ book for nature enthusiasts, students, wildlife managers and anyone interested in Sri Lanka.

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Bibliographic information

Title Sri Lankan Primates: An Enthusiasts' Guide
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.12.2012
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789550954001
length 126p., Colour; Illustrations; Colour; Maps; 29cm.