For the primate observation project I went to the Santa Barbara zoo to observe and contrast different types of primates. I observed one species of an old world monkey, which was a gorilla and two different species of new world monkeys, which were the Bolivian Grey Titi Monkey and also the Golden Lion Tamerin. The first type of primate I observed was a Bolivian Grey Titi Monkey which is a type of new world monkey species found in areas of eastern Bolivia and also can be found in Brazil.
The scientific term for this species is Callicebus donacophilus. These types of monkeys have medium sized body structures and do not exhibit sexual dimorphism between male and females. The Grey titi monkey is diurnal making them mostly active during the day. They are also arboreal, which means that this species spends most of its life living in the trees. I noticed that this type of monkey is able to travel around on the ground and move throughout the trees very quickly.
Since they are able to move around so quickly and have a sustainable life in the trees, I think that is how they avoid potential predators or larger animals that would be a threat on lower levels. The form of locomotion that they mostly use is walking, using all four limbs to support their bodies, which makes them quadralpedlic. Their diet primarily contains of fruits, leaves and insects that they forage by searching on the ground and using their hands to reach in the trees to obtain it. There is a strong bond between adults mating pairs. Evidence of the bond was observed through their behavior and proximity of the pair, while resting on a branch, I observed the pair with their tails intertwined with one another. When separated to communicate within the small range of their cage, I noticed that both used high pitch squeaks to call and find their partner. While observing the proxemics of pair of Grey Titi monkeys, I noticed that they kept their distance and seemed to ignore the other new world monkey species that also lived in the cage.
The other species of new world monkeys that I observed is known as the Golden Lion Tamarin, which is native to Brazil. The scientific name for this species is the Leotopithecus rosalia. These monkeys have a small; head surrounded by a golden, lion-like mane and are covered in an orange coat of fur all over their bodies. This species has a small, squirrel sized structure compared to the other primates that I observed. The tamarins moved quadrupedicaly among the branches while walking, running and leaping from branch to branch. They have long tails that they use to help balance while traveling throughout the trees. They are an arboreal species and spend most of their time among the trees. For most of the time I was observing I noticed that the Tamarin seemed less active than the other primates in the cage. For the majority of the time of I was observing, I noticed that one individual Tamarin remained resting in a wooden boxed like burrow for most of the time. Another individual seemed to be scavenging for food that remained on the ground. This monkey would leap down from the branches onto the ground and used its hands and long claws to pick the food that it found and then leap up back into the trees. Tamarins’ diets are omnivorous, feeding mostly on fruits but also eating insects, small reptiles or small mammals. Because they are so small it made them more difficult to observe through the cage wire but their small size can be used as an advantageous adaptation that they use to hide from predators.
The last type of primate that I observed was an Old world monkey classified in the hominoids super family, which contains members of the primates that includes apes and humans. I observed a type of Ape known as the Western Lowland Gorilla. The scientific name for a Gorilla is the Gorilla gorilla. Gorillas are the largest of all living primates and at native to west central Africa. Gorillas exhibit sexual dimorphism within their species because males are very obviously much larger than females. The size of the gorillas came across very intimating and gave me an off impression of what this specie was actually going to be like. While observing the gorillas I noticed that these creatures are very slow, lethargic primates. Gorillas move quadrupedally by putting weight down on their arms and knuckles as they walk. They have hands and opposable thumbs, like humans, and are able to grasp things with a better grip. When Gorillas need to reach above themselves such as for leaves or branches they are able to stand on both legs while reaching. While resting Gorillas sit on their bottoms, legs to the side in a similar position that humans do. When resting I noticed that sometimes Gorillas like to take advantage of the moment by self grooming, using their hands. Gorillas usually have an herbivore diet but eat occasional insects. Due to their large body structure it is harder for them move around quickly so they do not need to eat foods that contain as much nutrients and proteins as smaller, energetic primates.
Gorillas have many forms of vocalization, they use lower pitch calls such as hoots, rumbles, or grunts to communication with one another. Another form of communication that they use is through non-verbal communication such as humans through facial expressions that can express contentment, relaxation or signs of aggressive behavior through an intense stern stare. While observing the primates it was really interesting to understand and contrast each species similarities and differences. Observing the differences between Old world and New World Monkeys and different types of primate families helped put into perspective how diverse primates are and also how evolved humans have become from our distant ancestors. Studying the way that primates behave and also studying the adaptations that they have learned and acquired can help give anthropologist and researchers great insight to how humans evolved through time into what we are today.
Cite this Primate That I Observed
Primate That I Observed. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/primate-that-i-observed/