Primate Observation - San Diego Zoo Essay

2026 WordsFeb 10, 20139 Pages
Mark Mariano Professor Guenther Anthropology 131 November 25, 2012 Primate Observation Primates are one of the most interesting mammals on earth, not only because of their complex social structures, but because they hold so many similar characteristics to humans. Primates are often cited as our closest living relatives and on two separate occasions I observed four separate species of primates at the San Diego Zoo that can justify their use of their physical characteristics and behaviors that may be similar as well as different to the other primates and ours. The first group of primates I mainly observed were the Bonobos, also known as the pygmy chimps to many. On this occasion a youngster running…show more content…
After about 10 minutes, he is abruptly bothered by the youngster who is running on his knuckles towards the male and runs back up the hill as if he is taunting him. The youngster does it about 3 mores times within the next 7 minutes and perches upon the hill in the same position as the silverback, except he is bended at the knees in squat position. In my second visit, I return to the gorilla exhibit for about 10 minutes to see a female unknown if related to the previous observation in submission. She is found crouched to the floor with her elbows on the ground and hands extended out and her butt perched up. Her hind legs are also bent and position to help support her butt. Three minutes upon observation, a silverback male comes running on his knuckles from another part of the exhibit and mounts the female. He positions himself on his knuckles to provide him support and continues with the sexual intercourse, in which I conclude my observations. Gorillas are the largest group of primates and although they are known as being bipedal, similar to humans and other primates, they often use knuckle walking to move around. On observation, they have seems to have a more robust front appearance than their hind legs and behind. Their cranium is taller than other primates and lower mandible more protruding than their snout. They also have human-like ears that are parallel to their eyes and are small in size. They have
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