Primates’ Behavior Assignment

Primates are non-human apes that have a close resemblance to humans than others. Most of the primates spend their lives in social groups. In social groups, there are forms of hierarchy, which is headed by a dominant male. The primates are emotive, show empathy, generosity, and practice reconciliation, just like humans.  In this paper, I will respond to the following question based on season 5, episode 4 – Prime Time Primates by Allan.

Question 1

Yes, humans and Old World monkeys react the same in a crowded environment. Just like humans, old world monkeys tend to be rationalized and polite. For example, they will avoid looking at one another when in a crowded environment. In the cage, the monkey tends to be very polite and avoid any form of confrontation with others. Similarly, humans tend to be careful and reserved when crowded. When living in a social group, it is important to “kiss and make up” to make peace. It is an important tool for conflict resolution in a social group. The teen chimps are not very generous when it comes to the sharing of food. The juveniles learn to share their food when others reject them for not sharing. The chimps use mechanisms like rules and regulations, morality, empathy and sympathy and generosity to keep the peace. According to Frans de Waal, human morality grows from the genes, and the traits that define morality like empathy can be found in many animals, especially the primates. From the video, we can see the chimps exhibiting some sort of morality like generosity.

Question 2

When a young chimp is taken away from its social group, he or she learns the need to corporate with others in the group. Mostly, young chimps do not like sharing food with others in the social group. However, when taken out of the group, he or she learns that it is beneficial to work in a group rather than alone. There exist various similarities and differences between chimps and humans. To begin with, like humans, chimps use body language to communicate. For example, in the video, one chimp uses a stick to hit things as a sign of aggression. In addition, just like humans, chimps share their food. The young chimps are taught to share. In the video, the two juveniles are kept out of the group to allow them to learn how to share. There exist various similarities and differences between humans and chimps. To begin with, just like humans, chimps practice the sharing of foods. As shown in the video, young chimps are secluded from the group to teach them the benefits of sharing. In addition, just like humans, chimps have a complex communication expressed through pants, screams, and grunts. Most of their communication is through gestures and facial expressions. From the video, one of the chimps begins to hit things using a stick to show they are disgusted. However, humans have a muscular tongue and lips that allow them to have voices. In terms of dos, chimps live in groups led by an alpha male and often feed on fruits, leaves, among others. In terms of don’ts, chimps do not like to be in the water, and they often cannot swim.

Question 3

The orangutans are one of the intelligent apes that can learn. They learn by observing what others are doing. In the video, one orangutan is given the task of collecting food using a rake. The orangutan observes how the food is collected and does the same. However, the orangutans use designs their way of using the tool to reach the food. For them, it is more about the tool and not the process of obtaining food. In the video, the orangutan does not copy the process but uses the tool to reach the food.  Besides, human children learn by observing the action. Human children tend to imitate everything by observing. They do exactly what they see. In other words, they imitate the process. To them, they focus on the process and not the tool. Thus, it means that humans can share and transfer their skills and knowledge from one generation to another because human children learn by imitating the action.

Question 4

The apes in the movie can recognize abstract numbers. In the movie, the apes can recognize numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, amongst others. When asked, they can point out the numbers using their fingers. Other than recognizing the numbers, the apes can add. In the video, Sally puts three apples in one box and another three in the other box. Amazingly, the ape was able to add the apples and points number six. When the same process is repeated, the ape got a correct answer in response. Apart from these, the apes in the video can understand fractions. When Sally cuts fruit into pieces, the apes can give names to the pieces. For instance, they can recognize half or a quarter of whole fruit. This tells us that the ancestors of humans and chimps had an understanding of numbers. This is proved by the ability of the chimps to recognize and add numbers.

Question 5

An aye-aye is a unique species and the largest nocturnal primates. It is dark in color and has two layers of hair. The marked trait of this primate is a thin and elongated middle finger on each of its hands. The aye-aye has a special and distinct way to find its food known as echolocation, which involves producing sound waves to locate prey. The aye-aye taps on the bark of trees using the middle finger, which aid locate insects inside the wood. After locating the prey, the aye-aye digs the wood using the middle finger.

Question 6

Yes, there is evidence of female choice in the video. The female has the choice of choosing a newcomer in the group or the dominant male. In the video, a female seems attracted to the newcomer, but the dominant is not happy and chases them away. The game continues until the female, and the newcomer gets along by mating. It is worth noting that the dominant male has no power over the females. Different fathers sire babies every year. It means that the dominant male does not own the females in the group. In the video, John performs a paternity test to determine the father of the babies in the group. The advantage of having many fathers in a group is to make them more adaptive to different kinds of environments.

In conclusion, those human traits, which resemble the behavior of primates, are much more numerous and noticeable.

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