Primate Locomotion Pattern Zoo Report

1542 words - 7 pages

Course: Bioanthropology
Student Name: Wei-Yi Tsao
Professor: Neal Endacott
Observation Date: 10/26/2014

Zoo Report: Primate Observation
Introduction
I visited Woodland Park Zoo on October 26, 2014. The weather was rainy and due to the weather issue animals at the zoo mostly don’t have much of the movement and some of them are at their indoor area that cannot be seen by visitors. Even though the weather wasn’t the best for zoo visiting, I still found this experience very interesting. I observed six species including Patas monkeys, Orangutan, Black and white colobus monkeys, Red ruffed lemurs, Western lowland gorillas, and human from six different locomotor patterns and found out ...view middle of the document...

Patas monkeys live in small groups, often with one adult male and a few females and offspring. They search for food in the morning, rest in the shade of a tree at midday, then forages again in the afternoon. While traveling across savanna, one member of the group will climb a tree, shrub or large rock to watch for predators. They are colored red-brown dorsally and grey-white ventrally which is another protection from being eaten. Orangutans are brachiators that primarily reside in tropical and subtropical moist forest on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia. They belong to the family, Hominidae. (Table 2.1) They have a broad thorax, short olecranon process long curved fingers, longer forelimbs, and shorter hindlimbs. Orangutan’s long fingers allow them to tightly hold the branches and their long forelimbs allow them to swing. The more powerful the arm movements, the energetic the stabilizing musculature must be. Orangutan can arm swing between branches of a tree while its body is suspended below branches. They can easily exploit the fringe of a tree canopy by dispersing its weight to the ends of several branches by using gravity they could convert their vertical height into speed. I didn’t get to see the orangutans swinging from branches to branches during my visit, but I saw the mother orangutan taking care and playing with her kid, which shows the high intelligence of this species. (Figure 1.2.) Red ruffed lemur has longer legs and shorter arms, human like hands but in a smaller size (Figure 1.3 and 1.4), and hand-like feet that allow them to climb and leap from tree to tree with no falling. A family of red ruffed lemurs moves through tall forest. Searching carefully for their favorite food such as figs and more than 80 kinds of fruit. Red ruffed lemurs are the largest members of leapers in Lemuroidea subfamily (Table 2.1); they reside in the rainforest along east coast of Madagascar. Usually 2 to 16 individuals form a group, they communicate through loud piercing calls. The average lifespan of lemurs is 15 to 20 years long. Colobus monkeys are found mainly in Asia, but both red colobus and black-and-white colobus are exclusively African. Colobine species have a narrower range of food preferences but primarily eating mature leaves, they are also called “leaf-eating monkeys”. Black-and-white colobus monkeys are mostly arboreal but they do come down to ground occasionally. They have deep ulna, long olecranon process, long tails, long phalanges on their feet and hands that are easier for them to grasp trees. They are colored majorly black and they have some white hair on their face, tail and around their neck. Western lowland gorillas are knuckle walkers; their arms are longer than their legs. Knuckle-walking is quadrupedal locomotion with the hands pronated and fingers flexed resulting in dorsal surface of middle phalanges contacting the ground, supporting the weight in the knuckles. (Figure 1.5) Gorillas are...

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