Primatology class
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16-04-2014, 09:56 AM
Primatology class
My anthropological focus in college has been primate behavior and evolution; however, my studies to this point have just been book and video-based. I haven't had any face-to-face study time because the zoo is an hour away and I'm always busy. Well, I just signed up for ATH 496 - Observing Primate Behavior, which teaches the theory and method in the study of primate behavior. It's only twice a week (M and F), but one of those days takes place at the zoo. I'm looking forward to this class because it will let me know if I'm actually cut out for this line of work. The final is an original research project. I'm still deciding whether I want to stick with the Genus Pan (chimps and bonobos) or do something with Hylobates (gibbons).
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16-04-2014, 10:27 AM
RE: Primatology class
I'll take plenty of pictures and post my field notes here.
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16-04-2014, 12:46 PM
RE: Primatology class
(16-04-2014 09:56 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  My anthropological focus in college has been primate behavior and evolution; however, my studies to this point have just been book and video-based. I haven't had any face-to-face study time because the zoo is an hour away and I'm always busy. Well, I just signed up for ATH 496 - Observing Primate Behavior, which teaches the theory and method in the study of primate behavior. It's only twice a week (M and F), but one of those days takes place at the zoo. I'm looking forward to this class because it will let me know if I'm actually cut out for this line of work. The final is an original research project. I'm still deciding whether I want to stick with the Genus Pan (chimps and bonobos) or do something with Hylobates (gibbons).

Sounds very interesting and exciting Smile. Wish you the best of luck and cannot wait to read about your experiences and newfound knowledge.

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16-04-2014, 01:42 PM
RE: Primatology class
(16-04-2014 10:27 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I'll take plenty of pictures and post my field notes here.

You'd better be serious about this - no monkeying around. No

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16-04-2014, 02:00 PM
RE: Primatology class
(16-04-2014 01:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-04-2014 10:27 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I'll take plenty of pictures and post my field notes here.

You'd better be serious about this - no monkeying around. No

No joking. It will be nothing but hot, sticky bonobo sex pics.
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31-08-2014, 02:38 PM
RE: Primatology class
Friday was our first day at the Cincinnati zoo. We toured all of the different primates, including bonobos, gorillas, orangutans (unfortunately they weren’t on exhibit), gibbons, several species of monkey, and several species of prosimians. The two most requested study subjects (in order of popularity) were bonobos and gorillas. This is because they are more similar to us, their exhibits are shaded and/or indoors (a BIG plus during the summer), and both have cute babies. Chimps and bonobos are my “thing,” but the professor already said that he doesn’t want to see students crowding around the apes. There are a couple of people who already have dibs on the bonobos because they were awarded scholarships to study bonobos during the summer. Everyone else is just going to have to compromise.

Before I continue, here are videos of the bonobo and gorilla babies. Both exhibits have youngsters who are jealous of the attention that their siblings get, so they do everything they can to draw attention. They climb in trees and do cartwheels. I can imagine them saying, “Hey! Look what I can do!”









Since the bonobos were taken, I was torn between gibbons and Japanese macaques, both of which have associations with Asian culture and mythology (one of my research interests). The zoo has two species of gibbon, White-cheeked and Siamang. Unfortunately, they only have two individuals of each species and both are isolated to their own islands surrounded by a large moat. My professor suggested a comparative study, but I’d rather study the dynamics of a singular group. The Japanese macaques, on the other hand, number six and all live on the same island surrounded by a moat. A plus side is that there is an almost unobstructed 360 degree view of the island (if I’m willing to run around it). But it is out in the open and I burn easy. Wearing a hat and long sleeves keeps me from roasting, but increases sweating.

I’ll probably go with the Japanese macaque due to the larger group number. These monkeys have been actively studied in the wild since 1948, which is much longer than chimps. This means there is nearly 70 years of data on the subject. I’ve already located two monographs written by Japanese primatologists. I’m sure these will be a boon over the course of my study.
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31-08-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: Primatology class
You could always lock up a Homo sapiens or two in your basement.
That way no drive-time for observation. Yes

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31-08-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Primatology class
(16-04-2014 09:56 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  My anthropological focus in college has been primate behavior and evolution; however, my studies to this point have just been book and video-based. I haven't had any face-to-face study time because the zoo is an hour away and I'm always busy. Well, I just signed up for ATH 496 - Observing Primate Behavior, which teaches the theory and method in the study of primate behavior. It's only twice a week (M and F), but one of those days takes place at the zoo. I'm looking forward to this class because it will let me know if I'm actually cut out for this line of work. The final is an original research project. I'm still deciding whether I want to stick with the Genus Pan (chimps and bonobos) or do something with Hylobates (gibbons).

Funky gibbons? Wink


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31-08-2014, 03:00 PM
RE: Primatology class
(31-08-2014 02:44 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You could always lock up a Homo sapiens or two in your basement.
That way no drive-time for observation. Yes

I did that once. But this was before I learned the law frowns on such things.
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09-09-2014, 09:48 PM
RE: Primatology class
Last Friday was our second day at the zoo. The students spent the day observing the one or two species that they wanted to focus their studies on. I of course watched the Japanese macaques. One thing that stuck me was that a sub-adult male--that is a male who is sexually mature, but has not yet reached its full body size--was constantly moving about and looking around for those of higher rank. If a high ranking individual, be they male or female, walked up, the sub-adult would immediately retreat to somewhere else. This got me interested in the organization of dominance and how it is learned. I have to write a proposal in which I describe a cursory hypothesis and research plan for my upcoming study. The working title is:

"The Ontogeny of Dominance in Captive Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata)."

I just wish that there was a larger population with more juveniles. It would give the study more data. As far as I can tell, the sub-adult is the youngest individual. Anyway, I plan to compare the results against data from wild groups.
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