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Strepsirrhine

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Definition

noun, plural: strepsirrhines

Any of the wet-nosed primates characterized mainly by having rhinarium


Supplement

Primates are placental mammals and taxonomically may be divided into two suborders: the Strepsirrhini (strepsirrhines) and the Haplorhini (haplorrhines). The Strepsirrhini is a suborder of primates comprised of the adapiforms (which are already extinct) and the lemuriform primates (such as lemurs, lorises, pottos, and galagos).

The strepsirrhines are also referred to as wet-nosed primates. The wet nose feature of strepsirrhines is attributed to the presence of rhinarium. The rhinarium is the skin surface that surrounds the external openings of the nostrils. The other suborder of primates, the Haplorrhini, includes the dry-nosed primates due to their lack of this rhinarium. The strepsirrhine primates are also characterized by having the ability to manufacture vitamin C, which is not retained in the haplorrhine primates.

The strepsirrhines also have lower brain-to-body proportion compared with the haplorrhines. They have large olfactory lobes and a vomeronasal organ that detects pheromones.


Word origin: Greek strépsis (“a turning”) + rhinós (“nose”)

Variant(s):

  • strepsirhine

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Suborder: Strepsirrhini [É. Geoffroy, 1812]

See also: