Humans vs. Other Primates
October 14, 2011
Introduction to Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology
Even though humans could be the leaders of the world wielding the most power, are we that much different from other primates? No, we are not. Of course humans are different, but definitely not unique. We share too many characteristics to other primates like the chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas. Characteristics like culture, speech, communication, having social classes would which may have been thought to unique to humans have also seen done by other primates. Humans may have been considered unique once upon a time, but now were closer to our primate relatives than ever. Culture was once considered unique to humans, but it has been discovered that chimpanzees, orangutans, and bonobos also have culture. In Jane Goodall’s study of chimps (Goodall, 2002). A baby chimpanzee was observed watching his mother, as she groomed the alpha male. It had been noted that a baby chimpanzee learns by watching his mother. His mother may have learned this by watching her mother. The child also observes all the others grooming, and by watching that the others are doing he will also grow up to do so. In the article “Another Cultured Age, this Time with Red hair” Carol K. Yoon explains that oragutans in different groups in different areas each have different rituals they perform. The nightly howl for one differs from another, so does sexual behaviour, and tool use. The bonobo studied by Sue Savage-Rumbaugh shows the baby bono Teco growing up with two cultures (Savage-Rambaugh, 2010). Teco the baby, is growing up in a human culture, but will also adapt some bonobo culture from his father. Adapting to the culture in your surroundings was thought to only be done by humans, but now chimps, orangutans, and bonobos also show culture. In the chimp community, a baby chimp will grow up to do the same practices as he is shown by his mother and the others in his...
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Guber, P (Producer), & Lickley, D. (Director). (2002). Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees (Documentary). Canada: IMAX Film.
Winfrey, O. (host). (2010, October 4). Kanzi, the talking ape. On the Oprah Winfery Show [Televison Broad Cast]. Retrieved October 10, 2010, from http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXasXr9d14
Yoon, C. (2003, March). Another cultured ape, this time with red hair. Toronto Star.
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