Laboratory of Primate Morphology and Genetics

LPMG HOldings


Contact information

The CPRC Laboratory of Primate Morphology and Genetics (LPMG), contains the CPRC Skeletal Collection—one of the largest and most valuable collections of nonhuman primate skeletons in the world. It is located at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus, and supported by NIH grant P40 RR3640 and the UPR.

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
  • 30 tufted capuchin monkeys

Life history records are available for skeletons from the Sabana Seca Field Station (SSFS) monkeys. The life history is known for most of the rhesus from the free-ranging colony on Cayo Santiago including:

  • date of birth
  • sex
  • maternity
  • group affiliation
  • parity (for females)
  • date of death

Research with the collection has focused on:

  • anthropomorphics
  • growth and development
  • genetics and inheritance of various traits
  • mathematical modeling of naturally-occurring pathologies, including arthritis of the major joints, spondyloarthropathy, osteoporosis, fractures and hereditary defects
  • comparative skeletal anatomy and brain morphology (using endocasts)
  • effects of parity on pelvic remodeling
  • dentition

The LPMG also has a collection of rhesus plaster dermatoglyphs.

The LPMG strongly encourages researchers to study the skeletal collection on site in Puerto Rico. If the necessary research equipment is not available in Puerto Rico and cannot be shipped, then a loan may be arranged to the institution housing the equipment.

Loans are made at the researcher's expense and within the confines of the United States and its territories. Because of the strict federal regulations for international shipment of biological specimens, the LPMG regrets that it can no longer loan materials to researchers at non-US institutions.

Before shipping materials, the LPMG requires that researchers sign a document stating that they understand the specimens are on temporary loan, and that they agree to return the specimens in good condition, at their own expense, by a specified date. Until the materials are returned, no other loans will be made.

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.



Dr. Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist, author and co-producer of the Fox television series Bones with the LPMG collection. Book cover photographs courtesy of Simon and Schuster, Inc. Website: