Primates

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How does social organization vary among primates? How does social organization relate to adaptation to particular environments? Use at least 3 primates with examples and specific detail. Compare and contrast the social organization of orangutans, gorillas, and common chimpanzees. Social organization among primates varies in many ways. To name a few, primates have variations in body size, group composition, dominance hierarchies, diet and mating systems (158). In spite of the differences among primates, their social organization is the key to their ability to adapt to particular environments. In other words, primates such as chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas often live in tropical areas and are becoming endangered due to human hunting and survival factors. Primates such as orangutans live in heavily forested areas, they exhibit sexual dimorphism; males are large in body size whereas the females are smaller (142). Gorillas however, are larger than orangutans as well as chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are small and has less sexual dimorphism. All three primates are apes, yet their diet and locomotion differ. Orangutans are slow cautious climbers whereas chimpanzees mostly hang out in trees, are active and noisy, while gorillas are quiet and placid (146). Also, chimpanzees eat fruit, nuts, leaves, bird eggs and insects. As you can see, chimps are the smallest of the three and because of their body size they require a bigger diet. According to the text, larger animals require fewer calories per unit of weight than smaller animals because larger animals have less surface area relative to body mass than smaller animals. All three species differ in group composition. For example, some are loners whereas many hunt in groups. There are male and female groups and the females usually travels with their offspring’s being that offspring’s get most of their care from the female, but in polyandrous groups which consist of a single reproducing female and several sexually active...
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