The CPRC Laboratory of Primate Morphology, supported by NIH grant 2 P40 OD012217 and the UPR, is located in the CPRC Museum on the UPR Medical Sciences Campus. It is one of the largest and most valuable collections of nonhuman primate skeletons in the world. The collection contains over 3,600 complete skeletons of 14 species including 3,060 rhesus (830 directly from Cayo Santiago), 280 patas, 100 squirrel, 60 pigtail, 60 Caribbean vervet, 30 stumptail and 30 tufted capuchin monkeys. For most of the rhesus from the free-ranging colony on Cayo Santiago and those from Cayo Santiago housed at the Sabana Seca Field Station (SSFS); date of birth, sex, maternity, group affiliation, parity (for females), and date of death are known. Paternity and full pedigrees are known for many while medical records are available on skeletons from SSFS monkeys.


Research with the collection has focused on anthropomorphics, growth and development, genetics and inheritance of various traits, mathematical modeling, naturally-occurring pathologies (arthritis of the major joints, spondyloarthropathy, osteoporosis, fractures, hereditary defects), comparative skeletal anatomy and brain morphology (using endocasts), effects of parity on pelvic remodeling, and dentition. The LPMG also has a large collection of rhesus plaster dermatoglyphs. Forensic anthropologist, novelist and co-producer of the popular Fox television series Bones, Dr. Kathy Reichs, has used the collection for collaborative research on the effect of age and osteoarthritis on bone mineral density. She considers the CPRC’s Skeletal Collection an invaluable research resource and has mentioned the CPRC in at least two of her novels, Deja Dead and Bones to Ashes.





Despite daily challenges of gathering food, water and building materials, the people of Punta Santiago have never ceased to care for the over 1,500 monkeys on Monkey Island!


After two hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, the staff has been up against extreme odds. Daily, they never cease to provide food, water, and care to the monkeys, only to return to their own homes which have been devastated. Without our help, resources will soon be exhausted and the people and monkeys will suffer.



For more information on the LPMG’s collections, please contact Ms. Terry Kensler, Curator, at terry.kensler@upr.edu or website http://cprc.rcm.upr.edu/

<< go back