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Behavioral Comparisons Between Modern Humans And Primates

1303 words - 5 pages

Scientists have been studying primates for many year. Primatology helps anthropologists make inferences about the early social organization of hominids. (Kottak, 96) The three primates I recently observed at the Lowry Park Zoo are the Collared Lemurs, Mandrills, and the Bornean Orangutans. Each primate are categorized differently. The Collared Lemur (Eulemur collaris) is part of the prosimians. They are inhabited in one small protected area in Madagascar. The Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) belongs to the Old World monkeys whom are native in Malaysia. Lastly the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is categorized with apes and they are native to the island of Borneo. Based on my observations, you can definitely recognize the difference between each species.
The first primate I observed were the Collared Lemurs (Eulemur collaris). When I was monitoring them, they were sleeping on a branch the entire time. But by observing it's surroundings, you can determine a lot of it's characteristics. The setting of where the lemurs were held captive closely resembles the habitat from which they came from when they lived in the wild. Lemurs live in trees which is why they are called arboreal, meaning it spends most of its time on branches than on the ground (Kottak, 102). It's tail (which is longer than the length of it's body) helps them balance when moving amongst the tree. The Collared Lemurs jump from tree to tree. They have opposing thumbs and long toes that help them climb and for holding on. You can assume that the size of it's brain is small based on it's body size. But don't let that fool you. The Collared Lemurs are very intelligent animals. The two sources of communication between the lemurs are vocalization and by scent. They have excellent hearing that helps them to identify the pitches with the sounds for communication, for example Collared Lemurs often let out low growls. They track each other by sounds as well as by scents. It is easier for them to identify family members by the scent they release.
The Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) were the second primates that I examined. These primates were a lot more active than the Collared Lemurs. You can definitely determine if the Mandrill is female or male. The male's face has a bright blue muzzle and a bright red nose, you can also find these colors on it's butt. In my opinion, the males look more fierce than the females (Kottak, 104). At one point during my observation, I saw a male mandrill aggressively charge towards a female and as he was charging at her, he gave a low growl and you could visibly see his canine teeth. As the male became more angry, the colors on his face brightened. On the other hand, the female mandrills have duller colors. I noticed that mandrills spend most of their time on the ground, so we can determine that these primates are terrestrial. They spend most of their time on the ground foraging. The size of the mandrills vary depending on gender. The females tend to be...

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