Primates (World of Animals
The primates include lemurs, monkeys, apes, and ourselves. They are mostly highly intelligent animals, active during the day. The majority live in the tropics, and apart from humans, there are no primates in North America or Australia and only one in Europe. Primates usually form groups, often with complex social behavior involving special roles for different individuals. Most primates have only one or two young at a time, and females may produce fewer than five young in their whole life. That is balanced by a high degree of care for the offspring, leading to good survival prospects. Nevertheless, primates are unable to breed rapidly to make up for major losses in their populations. The largest species are a little bigger than the average human; the smallest are scarcely larger than a mouse.
Primates feed on a wide variety of foods, including leaves, fruit, insects, and flesh. Many are highly adaptable and occur in a variety of habitats, but some are extremely specialized. Certain species are quite numerous and may even become pests. However, the majority of primates are declining in numbers due to habitat loss, hunting for meat, and collecting for zoos and the pet trade. A higher proportion of primates are officially recognized as Endangered than any other major group of mammals.
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