Primate Observation Report

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Studying captive primates can help us learn not only how they behave, but also how they are similar or different to each other and humans as well as give us insight into the effects of captivity. This paper will be describing, comparing, and contrasting the behavior of two species of captive primates at the Alexandria Zoo, golden lion tamarins and howler monkeys, as well as discussing the possible effects captivity could have had on them. This paper will also discuss any human-like behaviors observed in the two primate species and what we as humans could learn about our own behavior by studying primates. The two primates I observed were 1 of 3 golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) all of unknown gender and a solitary female howler …show more content…

I believe this could be for multiple reasons, such as to relieve stress, cool down/warm up, or to eat/check for food. I also noticed some differences between them, like how the tamarins, being smaller than the howler monkey, seemed much more alert and were always looking up and around them. This is likely because, unlike larger howler monkeys, tamarin’s small size makes them susceptible to attacks from predators, especially large birds. Thus, being more alert helps them locate potential predators before they …show more content…

For example, ancient humans, especially those whom lived in heavily vegetated areas, may have acted much like the tamarins by staying alert in order to prevent predators from sneaking up on them. However, why might humans have shown similar behaviors as the tamarins which the howler monkey did not. Perhaps because both primate species are mostly arboreal and the main predators would be those that fly, which aren’t a real threat for howler monkeys, while humans on the other hand lived on the ground where there are many large predatory mammals. We could also expect to find similar traits that were observed in the solitary howler monkey, such as boredom/depression and repetitive behavior like pacing, in prisoners, particularly ones in solitary confinement. This is likely because humans, like most primates, are social and when we are confined or cut off from other people can affect our mental health. Studying primates could also help us better understand how our ancestors may have lived and how they may have socialized, foraged/ate, or raised

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