De Anza College Spider Monkey & Lemur Behaviors & Living Habits Paper


After making your observations at the zoo, read back through your notes: do any behavioral patterns emerge? Did some behaviors occur over and over? What behaviors seem to be most common and what sort of functions are they associated with (i.e. food acquisition, competition for mates, alliance building, etc.)? What leaps out to you from your own data that stands out as significant, and significant in what way? In your written paper (3 to 5 pages in length), you will describe what you observed, point out those significant patterns and discuss them. You will tell me how you identified the pattern, and what conclusions you’ve reached from your own data about:1. The primates you observed2. Relationships you see to ancient or modern human behavior3. Introductory ParagraphHook the reader, say something interesting about the project, state your thesis, which is essentially the summary of your findings in one-two sentences. Primate DescriptionsWrite up brief physical descriptions of the primate species you observed, based on your field notes. Describe the enclosure as well as what you were able to assess about size, number, sex and ages of the individuals. Include what zoo you went to and something about the context (day/time/atmosphere) of your observation. Include the common names (i.e. chimpanzee, lemur, etc.) of the primates you observed as well as the scientific name of the species. (Genus & species name – underlined or italicized- you should be able to get this from informational signs at the zoo).

4Primate ComparisonIn this section compare and contrast the behaviors of the two primate species you observed. How did the behaviors of the primates differ from one another? How were they similar? Why might these differences and similarities exist? Talk specifically about some of the behavior categories outlined above. The Effects of Captivity Reflect on the effects that being in captivity and on display in a zoo might have on the behaviors of the primates you observed. How “natural” do you think the behaviors you observed are? Do you think the primates would act differently if observed in the wild? If so, can you explain why? Insights into Ancient and/or Modern Human Behavior Consider what kind of insights the primate species you observed might give us into human behavior, either ancient or modern. Can you identify similar patterns of behavior in humans? If so, do you think that these patterns may come about for similar reasons as in the Primates, or for different reasons? What, ultimately can studying Primates really tell us about humans, based especially on your work as a Primatologist? Brief Conclusion Briefly restate your findings based on your data. You might suggest additional research or what you might have done differently knowing what you now know. Leave us with a broad statement about the value of this type of research.

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