Haplorhini vs. Strepsirrhini

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Haplorhini and Strepsirrhini is that the Haplorhini is a suborder of “dry nosed” primates, including monkeys, apes, humans and Strepsirrhini is a suborder of mammals

  • Haplorhini

    Haplorhini (), the haplorhines (Greek for “simple-nosed”) or the “dry-nosed” primates, is a suborder of primates containing the tarsiers and the simians (Simiiformes or anthropoids), as sister of the Strepsirrhini (“moist-nosed”). The name is sometimes spelled Haplorrhini. The simians include catarrhines (Old World monkeys and apes including humans), and the platyrrhines (New World monkeys).

    The extinct omomyids, which are considered to be the most basal haplorhines, are believed to be more closely related to the tarsiers than to other haplorhines. The exact relationship is not yet fully established – Williams, Kay and Kirk (2010) prefer the view that tarsiers and simians share a common ancestor, and that common ancestor shares a common ancestor with the omomyids, citing evidence from analysis by Bajpal et al. in 2008; but they also note two other possibilities – that tarsiers are directly descended from omomyids, with simians being a separate line, or that both simians and tarsiers are descended from omomyids.Haplorhines share a number of derived features that distinguish them from the strepsirrhine “wet-nosed” primates (whose Greek name means “curved nose”), the other suborder of primates from which they diverged some 63 million years ago. The haplorhines, including tarsiers, have all lost the function of the terminal enzyme that manufactures Vitamin C, while the strepsirrhines, like most other orders of mammals, have retained this enzyme. Genetically, five short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) are common to all haplorhines whilst absent in strepsirrhines. The haplorhine upper lip, which has replaced the ancestral rhinarium found in strepsirrhines, is not directly connected to their nose or gum, allowing a large range of facial expressions. Their brain-to-body mass ratio is significantly greater than the strepsirrhines, and their primary sense is vision. Haplorhines have a postorbital plate, unlike the postorbital bar found in strepsirrhines. Most species are diurnal (the exceptions being the tarsiers and the night monkeys).

    All anthropoids have a single-chambered uterus; tarsiers have a bicornate uterus like the strepsirrhines. Most species typically have single births, although twins and triplets are common for marmosets and tamarins. Despite similar gestation periods, haplorhine newborns are relatively much larger than strepsirrhine newborns, but have a longer dependence period on their mother. This difference in size and dependence is credited to the increased complexity of their behavior and natural history.

  • Strepsirrhini

    Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini ( (listen); STREP-sə-RY-nee) is a suborder of primates that includes the lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Madagascar, galagos (“bushbabies”) and pottos from Africa, and the lorises from India and southeast Asia. Collectively they are referred to as strepsirrhines. Also belonging to the suborder are the extinct adapiform primates that thrived during the Eocene in Europe, North America, and Asia, but disappeared from most of the Northern Hemisphere as the climate cooled. Adapiforms are sometimes referred to as being “lemur-like”, although the diversity of both lemurs and adapiforms does not support this comparison.

    Strepsirrhines are defined by their “wet” (moist) rhinarium (the tip of the snout) – hence the colloquial but inaccurate term “wet-nosed” – similar to the rhinaria of dogs and cats. They also have a smaller brain than comparably sized simians, large olfactory lobes for smell, a vomeronasal organ to detect pheromones, and a bicornuate uterus with an epitheliochorial placenta. Their eyes contain a reflective layer to improve their night vision, and their eye sockets include a ring of bone around the eye, but they lack a wall of thin bone behind it. Strepsirrhine primates produce their own vitamin C, whereas haplorhine primates must obtain it from their diets. Lemuriform primates are characterized by a toothcomb, a specialized set of teeth in the front, lower part of the mouth mostly used for combing fur during grooming.

    Many of today’s living strepsirrhines are endangered due to habitat destruction, hunting for bushmeat, and live capture for the exotic pet trade. Both living and extinct strepsirrhines are behaviorally diverse, although all are primarily arboreal (tree-dwelling). Most living lemuriforms are nocturnal, while most adapiforms were diurnal. Both living and extinct groups primarily fed on fruit, leaves, and insects.


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