The chromosomes of the primates are potentially extremely powerful tools for eliciting a deeper understanding of primate systematics. Their utility lies largely in the fact that chromosomes are of extremely high heritability (to take an analogy from quantitative genetics: nearly all chromosonial variation in a populaion is inherited; the only exceptions being de novo chromosomal mutations). The chromosomes do not exhibit the plasticity in response to direct environmental pressure characteristic of gross organismal morphology, which makes them rather "purer" indicators of genetic affinity. Further, a chromosomal inversion or translocaction is an effectively unique event, which means that parallel evolution in the karyotype will be exceedingly rare.
Keywords: Cytogenetics, Anthropoidea, Macroevolution
How to Cite: Marks J., (1981) “Cytogenetics and Systematics of the Anthropoidea, with Some Thoughts on Macroevolution”, Atlatl 2.