Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Asiatic Primate Expedition, 1937

Scientific endeavor to Siam (now Thailand) mounted in 1937 and sponsored jointly by Harvard, Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities. Thailand was then a focal area for gibbons. The co-directors were Charles R. Carpenter, who studied the pattern of boundaries of hylobatid social organization; Adolph Schultz, who studied anatomy and morphology; and Harold J. Coolidge, Jr. (the initiator of the project), who studied social organization. Sherwood Washburn, then a graduate student, was also a member. One group also studied orangutans in northern Borneo. The team collected and dissected specimens, and conducted behavioral observations for four months in the Thai rain forests. This was the last major field study of primates until the 1950s, and was important because several members of the expedition would have a significant impact on primatology in the 1950s.

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