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Anthropomorpha is a defunct taxon, replaced by Primates.[1]

The order was established by Carl Linnaeus in the first edition of his book Systema Naturae (1735) for genera Homo (humans), Simia (monkeys and apes in general) and Bradypus (sloths).[2] The taxon is notable for the history of human taxonomy as the first to combine apes (Linnaeus' Simia) and humans under the same clade.[3]

In the 1758 edition of the same book, Linnaeus discarded this name and began to use the word Primates, which has replaced Anthropomorpha completely. A dissertation on the Anthropomorpha was published by Linnaeus' student Christian Emmanuel Hoppius in 1760.[4]

The name is no longer considered valid, as the animals that were included within Anthropomorpha are now believed to belong to multiple clades. For example, two-toed sloths were included within Anthropomorpha,[5] but are now considered to be in the family Megalonychidae, which is not closely related to the primates.[6]Comte de Buffon[year needed] correctly rejected the combination of sloths and primates within the same order.[5]


  1. ^ Porter, N., ed. (1913). Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. G & C. Merriam.
  2. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1735). Systema naturae sive regna tria Naturae systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera, & species. apud Theodorum Haak, Lugduni Batavorum. pp. s.p.
  3. ^ Sven Horstadius, Linnaeus, animals and man[permanent dead link], Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 6 (December 1974), 269–275 (p. 273).
  4. ^ C. E. Hoppius, "Anthropomorpha", Amoenitates Academicae, 6 September 1760.
  5. ^ a b Conniff, R. (December 30, 2007). "Forgotten, Yes. But Happy Birthday Anyway". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-22.[unreliable source?]
  6. ^ Gardner, A. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.