NYCEP Morphometrics Database

Introduction to NYCEP Morphometrics Database

PRIMO (PRImate Morphometrics Online), the NYCEP Primate Morphometric database, is a resource for researchers who use metrical (including 3D) data to study aspects of primate morphology and evolution. It permits downloading of data on dentitions, crania and postcrania collected by members of the NYCEP Morphometrics Group or archived by other colleagues for public access. PRIMO was developed by Eric Delson, David P. Reddy and the late Leslie F. Marcus with the assistance of Martin Friess, Stephen R. Frost, Will Harcourt-Smith, Johann Kim, Julian Saunders, Katherine St. John and Eric Ford, along with many student workers. The development of PRIMO was financially supported by the National Science Foundation, under awards ACI 99-82351, BCS 04-52961, IIS 05-13660 and IIS 11-16921.

To take full advantage of PRIMO, it is necessary to request a personal login (see below); to determine if PRIMO will be useful to you, it is possible to see its major components:
  1. download excel file information for users which lists the number of specimens in the database by genus, to give an idea of coverage; and presents lists of variables, institutions, individuals who collected data and taxa recognized; also download pdfs of Delson's examples of wear stages and terminology figure if using dental data
  2. login with username user and password primouser
  3. if desired, click Database Structure to see the layout of tables
  4. click Query Wizard to seek data
    1. choose type of data to search—scalar (e.g., caliper measures of linear distance, angles) or 3D (Microscribe landmark data); additional data types, such as laser scans, will be available in due course, as will additional geographical locality information and digital images of specimens
    2. subset the data by taxon, bodypart, and variable as desired; it is wisest to select bodypart before variable, in order to see only those variables relevant to the region selected
    3. click “data preview” to see the first five rows in order to confirm that the correct variables are selected. When using password primouser, this is as far as you can go. Users with a personal login can download a full excel .csv file (comma delimited text file) at this point
    4. alternatively, users with a personal login can go directly to “Results” to see the entire matrix onscreen and then download.

When using password primouser, data from only the first five specimens will be shown. To obtain full access to public data, one must request a personal login.
Email Eric Delson, filling out the request form which will appear.

If you utilize PRIMO data in your work, we would appreciate it if you would insert a line in your acknowledgments such as: “Some data for this project were downloaded from PRIMO, the NYCEP PRImate Morphology Online database ( I thank Dr. Eric Delson and colleagues for access to these data.”

We would also appreciate a copy of any publication (or other report) emailed to us at