Primate Assignment

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Anthropology 201
Primate Assignment

Gorillas normally live to be around to 30-50 years old and weigh to be 300-450 pounds (males). Gorillas, like many of the great apes have arms that are longer than their legs and they walk on all fours. This form of walking is called knuckle walking. Gorillas are ground-dwelling and live in groups of around 6 with the oldest gorilla as the alpa leading his group of a females and their young. The oldest and largest silverback, (the alpha) tends to be the most aggressive male in the group due to the fact he is the one who has to protect his family. The alpha decides when the group eats, sleeps, wakes up, etc.The alpha also owns the rights to mate with his groups of females. Gorillas tend to be shy animals and do most of their activity during the day. At night they build their nests to sleep in, and the mothers share their nest with their young.

At the zoo, many of the gorillas in the enclosure were actually asleep. Enjoying the weather laying in the sun. One of the gorillas that was asleep would occasionally sit up, look around, swipe at its face, or twitch. Only one of the gorillas in the enclosure was extremely active. It was a male gorilla, very large and I believe he was dancing. I noticed that when he noticed the crowd watching him he became a little more rambunctious. What he was doing is he was down on all fours knuckle walking, stop, and it looked like to me that he was moving his butt up and down. He was doing this sort of dance for approximately five minutes, after that he was walking around for a little bit longer and then sat down and rested with the others.

It was strange to see only one of the gorillas was active out of all of the others that was with him. It occurred to me that maybe the gorillas are on a schedule, when they know when to settle down and rest and that is why none of them was up. It could also be that like I said earlier they were all enjoying the nice weather and one had more energy...
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