Primate Observation - San Diego Zoo

2007 words 9 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
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Gorillas although large in stature and demeaning physical appearance, we’re very docile in behavior and moved a lot slower than the other primates observed. Bipedal locomotion was only observed twice on both visits, and was exercised by the youngster.

The next set of primates observed, we’re on my second visit to the San Diego Zoo. These we’re the reddish-orange colored primates known as the orangutans. The orangutans shared the exhibit with another species known as siamangs. On my particular visit I observed three active orangutans out of four that we’re on display. A large male, which I was able to identify as Satu, according to the displayed profiles around the exhibit. He was perched on top of a jungle gym like structure used with steel poles and a series of ropes crisscrossed for them to use. He was sitting in a set resting until another orangutan, identified as Janey, leaps towards the poles using her hands to grasp the ropes and poles and swings up to wake him up. She then jumps back down with Satu following her back down. She relaxes near a ledge and is sitting in a bent posture leaned forward waiting. Satu then goes behind her and proceeds to pick at her fur as if he’s grooming her and eating bugs that may be in the fur. He uses his thumbs and index digit as if he’s pinching it out and proceed to stick his hand in his mouth to lick it off. I observed this