The first room is dedicated to Primates and features numerous examples of monkeys from both the Old and New Worlds, as well as information on various types of locomotion and social lives.
The orangutan specimen (Pongo pygmaeus) precedes the foundation of the museum. In 1865, Giacomo Doria and his friend the botanist Odoardo Beccari were visiting Borneo to collect specimens. In January 1866, Doria decided to return to Italy due to health reasons and stopped over in Singapore that February. In Singapore, he bought two young female orangutans on a ship from Pontianak, the current capital of the West Kalimanatan province of Indonesia. One of the orangutans lived in Genoa for a while and is the specimen displayed in the case next to the male.
The Primates exhibition ends in the next room with a series of Prosimians.