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Basic and applied primatology.

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American Journal of Primatology Supplement 1:l-2 (1982)
Basic and Applied Primatology
American Journal of Primatology
In the past, there has been a degree of polarization between basic primatology and
applied primatology. On the one hand, there has been a profound development in
understanding of the ultimate causes of primate structure and function. On the other
hand, there have been some substantial advances in the clinical sciences, with direct
applicability of technology developed with nonhuman primates to the solution of human
problems. Another aspect of applied primatology concerns veterinary medical care and
the management of primates in laboratories, breeding colonies, and zoological parks.
One of the most important developments of modern primatology is the increased recognition that the theoretical, empirical, and applied aspects of primatology are complimentary to one another. This special supplement of the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF
PRIMATOLOGY testifies to the integrity of primatology by presenting information
from a variety of viewpoints.
The contributions to this special supplement are drawn from two sources. The first,
the Workshop on Infertility in Male Great Apes, held in Atlanta, Georgia, November
23-25, 1980; and the second, a symposium on Primate Reproductive Strategies, given
at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington,
DC, December 6, 1980. There is considerable overlap regarding the content and orientation of contributions from these two sources, even though the primary concern of
the symposium was the understanding of ultimate principles of primate evolution and
the purpose of the workshop was the provision of practical solutions to reproductive
deficits in great apes. It is especially notable that much of the work presented here has
both theoretical and applied value. The work is truly interdisciplinary. It involves
anthropologists, comparative psychologists, physiologists, veterinarians, and zoologists
working in a variety of settings, including university and national laboratories, primate
centers, natural settings, wildlife preserves, and zoological parks.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the programs whose proceedings are presented
here is the significant contribution made by scientists from various fields using the
valuable resources of zoological parks. The symposium on Primate Reproductive Strategies was organized and moderated by Donald G. Lindburg, PhD, a noted physical
anthropologist, who serves as Research Behaviorist at the San Diego Zoological Park.
The workshop was initiated by Benjamin €3. Beck, PhD, Research Curator and Curator
of Primates of the Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Park), in cooperation with Kenneth Gould, PhD, MRCVS (Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center); David K. Johnson, DVM (Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Section, NIH); and Steven Seager, PhD,
MRCVS (Chief, Reproductive Physiology Group, Veterinary Resources Branch, NIH).
The publication of this special supplement would not have been possible without the
help of these individuals. Dr. Frederick King, Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate
Research Center, and members of his staff a t the Yerkes Center deserve our gratitude
for hosting and arranging the workshop. I a m especially indebted to Dr. Terry L. Maple,
who contributed editorial assistance and helped to coordinate publication plans for this
0 1982 Alan R. Liss, Inc.
special supplement. All contributions underwent a stringent review procedure. The
reviewers deserve special recognition for assisting the authors and editor in producing
a high-quality publication. The authors must be congratulated for their fine contributions and for their willingness and effectiveness in responding to the reviews of their
The Workshop on Infertility in Male Great Apes was sponsored by the Chicago Zoological Society, the Interagency Primate Steering Committee of the National Institutes
of Health, the St. Louis Zoological Park, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of
Emory University, and the Zoological Society of the Milwaukee County Zoo. The investment of time and funding from these agencies and organizations was essential to
the presentation and publication of the information contained in this supplement.
This supplement offers an integrated approach to increased understanding of primate
reproductive strategies, empirical investigation of primate reproductive physiology and
behavior, and the application of theory and evidence to the solution of reproductive
deficits in great apes. Readers are sure to recognize the value of this integration of
basic and applied primatology.
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