Zoo Observations

Topics: Hominidae, Orangutan, Gorilla / Pages: 5 (1729 words) / Published: Apr 24th, 2015
Dillon, Jason
Professor Sime
ANTH 102
15 APR 2015
San Diego Zoo Observations It is impossible to go back to the past to observe exactly how different species have evolved and changed over the centuries. This is why it is important for us to observe and study these species now, in order to better understand the past and find the similarities, differences, and how each of these animals have adapted in their environments over time. To better understand ourselves, we must first understand the primates from which we have perhaps evolved from. These primates share many similar characteristics as humans do and have complex social structures that closely relate to our own. I will be discussing two different primates of which I observed; the orangutan (Pongo Pygmaeus and Pongo Abelii) and the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla). The first groups of primates I visited and observed were the orangutans, which translates to ‘man of the forest’ in the Malay language. There were two different sub species in the enclosed habitat, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo Pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo Abelii). The Bornean orangutans varied in appearance from the Sumatran orangutans, with shorter hair on the beard, a much larger and broader face, and also seemed to have darker colored fur. There was one male and four visible females inside the habitat, along with a few smaller monkeys. The male was much larger than both of the female species in both size and weight. He was estimated to weigh about 260 pounds, while the females were estimated at just 130 pounds. He spent his entire time on the ground, walking around to the other females, giving each of them some sort of attention. He walked around on his knuckles, with his fingers flat along the ground and not in a fist. There were no signs of dominance during the time of observation to either humans or other primates inside the habitat. The habitat in which they lived was filled with various rock structures; half

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