Wischnewsky 1/13Louis WischnewskyProfessor MonrealAnthropology 10128 April 2011                                Visiting th...
Wischnewsky 2/13hoped to accomplish. In association with San Diego Zoo, a hotel on Shelter Island had a specialthat made s...
Wischnewsky 3/13the zoo. The San Diego Zoo website, however, suggests there are three families of primatesrepresented at t...
Wischnewsky 4/13The following is a more detailed account of each species:Kikuyu Colobus:    ✔ Common Name: Kikuyu Colobus,...
Wischnewsky 5/13Golden-bellied Mangabey:   ✔ Common Name: Golden-bellied                   they had nails at all     Manga...
Wischnewsky 6/13Francois Langur:   ✔ Common Name: Francois Langur;               ✔ Nails on all digits? Not observable    ...
Wischnewsky 7/13Lhoests Guenon:   ✔ Common Name: Lhoests Guenon,              ✔ Nails on all digits? Not observable     a....
Wischnewsky 8/13       In a discreet corner of Monkey Trail, I cam across a little tan colored monkey-likecreature that se...
Wischnewsky 9/13female to be larger than the males. Thus, the sexual dimorphism appears to exist only in color.The taxonom...
Wischnewsky 10/13What I observed:       Over the first thirty minutes, the female mostly lunged on a limb at the front of ...
Wischnewsky 11/13       As mentioned earlier, it was after this first half hour that something happened thatchanged the dy...
Wischnewsky 12/13       It was hard to determine through this observation whether males or females play adominant role in ...
Wischnewsky 13/13males reassurance that everything was fine. This indicates to me that the female depends on themale heavi...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Visiting the Red-Cheeked Gibbon

1,427 views

Published on

This is the copy I turned in. I may go back and fix some typos & at least one sentence I meant to change but did not complete the change (so it is fragmented). I was jammed for time to complete this project so it isn't exactly the finished product I had hoped for. I never proofread and edited it for a final version - i turned in this rough draft as a final draft. Still, the professor called it a "perfect paper" shortly after I turned it in (before she actually graded it). This was done for an Anthropology 101 course.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
  • Awesome news on this paper came several months ago and I have not had a chance to mention it. The paper scored a rare 'perfect' A. Not only was Professor Monreal impressed enough to score the paper so high, she asked for permission to use it as a sample paper for future students!!! Naturally I gave permission and sent her a copy of the paper.

    Now, that's an incredible honor. And rare. But keep looking through these and you will see something even more rare. Specifically, look for my American Literature (pre-Civil War) paper.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

Visiting the Red-Cheeked Gibbon

  1. 1. Wischnewsky 1/13Louis WischnewskyProfessor MonrealAnthropology 10128 April 2011 Visiting the Red-Cheeked Gibbon My recent visit to San Diego Zoo was the second visit to the animal menagerie I haveever made. A previous visit was made as part of a “short” vacation stop that lasted nearly a fullday. To appreciate the wide array animals at San Diego, my wife and I discovered on that tripthat more than a full day is needed. Recalling a great selection of hominids at San Diego,wanting to visit the zoo again, and an opportunity to get discount future access, I felt anothervisit to San Diego Zoo was ripe for the taking. Located in the beautiful southern California city of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo isarguably one of the most popular, famous zoos in the United States. A non-profit organizationfounded in 1916, it boasts a membership of over a half-million persons making it the largestzoological membership in entire world. The zoo itself rests on over 100 acres virtually in themiddle of San Diego and is home to over 4000 rare and endangered animals representing over800 different species and subspecies. Often humorous, always interesting, and sometimesexciting, there is ample inter-species mingling that adds to an aura, throughout the zoo, ofanimals withing their natural habitats as best as can be expected within the 100 acres (watch outfor the duckling babies that can get under foot in seconds!). For example, always inspirationalare the geese that will aide parental ducks with babysitting those happy, curious ducklings. Almost a year ago, our lives starting to calm down after a hectic start to the year, my wifeand I felt the need for a short get-away from the grind. I had never been to San Diego, it wasnearby, and Rosalinda had come across a deal on the internet that seemed perfect for what we
  2. 2. Wischnewsky 2/13hoped to accomplish. In association with San Diego Zoo, a hotel on Shelter Island had a specialthat made such a trip all the more attractive. Directly across San Diego Bay from the NorthIsland Naval Air Station and our room overlooking a private marina, the constant views wereawesome. We headed inland on two different days, though, once strolling the diverse vendors ofOld Town and spending another day taking in as much of the zoo as we could. Unfortunately,after several days of strolling only a few of the many sites of San Diego, our feet, legs, and backswere unable to carry us through the entire zoo. Enjoying the elevated walks and winding trails ofthe zoo, however, we vowed to go back at the first opportunity. It had been my first ever visit toSan Diego Zoo and the first Rosalinda had taken in quite some time. The zoo had been much fun. We had arrived mi-morning and, because it was directly infront of us, started down the trails to the monkeys and apes. Huge avian fans, we spent much ofthe day exploring various species of birds and sat through a rather humorous show at the HunteAmphitheater. There more to watch the animals, we avoided rides except for the Skyfari rideback to the front of the zoo (our feet were killing us!). Unfortunately, though we spent roughlysix hours at the zoo, we just did not have the energy to take in all the sites and, as mentioned,vowed a return. Learning that a trip to a zoo would be expected at some point during the semester, mywife and I were excited to learn that the San Diego Zoo was an option for this Anthropologycourse. Even more exciting was the prospect of getting admission for a heavily discounted price– and that admission allowing us future visits, as well. Though we visited forty percent of the zoo on our recent trip, frankly, I did not create alist of all the primates and varieties of them at the zoo. The volume of species at the zoo alonedictates that focusing on a single order of animals to the extent of creating a list of all itsmembers would be cumbersome and most likely call for more than a day or even two of visiting
  3. 3. Wischnewsky 3/13the zoo. The San Diego Zoo website, however, suggests there are three families of primatesrepresented at the park that consist of thirty-seven genera and 196 species (however, more thanthree were observed).The families include the following ✔ Callitrichidae (marmosets and tamarins) ✔ Cebidae (New World monkeys) ✔ Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys)A sampling of the groups I did note include the following: ✗ Red-Cheeked Gibbon ✗ Kikuyu Colobus ✗ Golden bellied Mangabey ✗ Francois Langur ✗ Lhoests GuenonUnfortunately, to have this all flow together, a huge empty space was needed here … maybe this is a great place for a copy of my ticket!
  4. 4. Wischnewsky 4/13The following is a more detailed account of each species:Kikuyu Colobus: ✔ Common Name: Kikuyu Colobus, fingernails a.k.a, black and white colobus ✔ Forearms to hindlimbs ratio: Arms ✔ Scientific Name: colobus guereza appeared 10% to 15% longer than rear kikuyuensis legs. ✔ Order: Primates ✔ Hand Grip: Did not observe enough hand use to establish hand grip style ✔ Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea ✔ Primary Locomotion: Not enough ✔ Family: Cercopithecidae movement observed ✔ Subamily: Colobinae ✔ Sexual Dimorphism in size: Some ✔ Genus: Colobus specimens were noticeably, but not largely, different in size. Sexual ✔ Species: Guereza dimorphism is assumed with males ✔ Number in cage: 3 (observed) about 10% larger than females ✔ Tail type: They have an ornate tail but ✔ Distribution: Kenya, east of the Rift none exhibited characteristics of being Valley prehensile ✔ Habitat: Secondary forests near rivers ✔ Nails on all digits? Too far to observe; ✔ Diet: mostly leaves research indicates negligible A pair of Kikuyu colobos relaxing at San Diego Zoo.
  5. 5. Wischnewsky 5/13Golden-bellied Mangabey: ✔ Common Name: Golden-bellied they had nails at all Mangabey ✔ Forearms to hindlimbs ratio: Arms & ✔ Scientific Name: cercocebus legs appeared equal in length chrysogaster ✔ Hand Grip: small hands seen mostly ✔ Order: Primates used snacking and grooming ✔ Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea ✔ Primary Locomotion: quadrupedal movement by one specimen in the cage ✔ Family: Cercopithecidae ✔ Sexual Dimorphism: The males ✔ Subfamily: Cercopithecinae appeared roughly 25% larger than the ✔ Genus: Cercocebus females ✔ Species: C. Chrysogaster ✔ Distribution: Democratic Republic of the Congo, south of the Congo River ✔ Number in cage: 3 (observed) ✔ Habitat: Rain forests ✔ Tail type: non-prehensile ✔ Diet: Fruit, leaves, buds, insects, eggs, ✔ Nails on all digits? Could not see fingers well enough to identify whether nuts, bark, and birds A Golden-bellied Mangabey ready for a nap at San Diego Zoo.
  6. 6. Wischnewsky 6/13Francois Langur: ✔ Common Name: Francois Langur; ✔ Nails on all digits? Not observable a.k.a – Francois Leaf Monkey, Tonkin from point of view Leaf Monkey, White Side-burned ✔ Forearms to hindlimbs ratio: it Black Langur appeared legs were 20% to 30% longer ✔ Scientific Name: Trachypithecus than arms francoisi ✔ Handgrip: These were at rest so grip ✔ Order: Primates was not observable ✔ Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea ✔ Primary Locomotion: bipedal & brachiation ✔ Family: Cercopithecidae ✔ Sexual Dimorphism: No ✔ Subfamily: Colobinae ✔ Distribution: Northern Vietnam, ✔ Genus: Trachypithecus southeastern China ✔ Species: francoisi ✔ Habitat: moist, deciduous forests ✔ Number in cage: 2 (observed) ✔ Diet: Leaves ✔ Tail type: non-prehensile A pair of Francois Langurs lounging in the sun at San Diego Zoo.
  7. 7. Wischnewsky 7/13Lhoests Guenon: ✔ Common Name: Lhoests Guenon, ✔ Nails on all digits? Not observable a.k.a. mountain monkey ✔ Forearms to hindlimbs ratio: about ✔ Scientific Name: Cercopithecus lhoesti equal ✔ Order: Primate ✔ Handgrip: looked as if they had full hand use ✔ Superfamily: Cercopithecoidea ✔ Primary Locomotion: quadrupedal and ✔ Family: Cercopithecidae bipedal ✔ Subfamily: Cercopithecinae ✔ Sexual Dimorphism: Yes ✔ Genus: Cercopithecus ✔ Distribution: Eastern Democratic ✔ Species: lhoesti Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and into western Uganda ✔ Number in Cage: 2 (observed) ✔ Habitat: forest from dense to sparse ✔ Tail Type: non-prehensile ✔ Diet: fruit, leaves, eggs, small animals A pair of Lhoests Guenons having a snack.
  8. 8. Wischnewsky 8/13 In a discreet corner of Monkey Trail, I cam across a little tan colored monkey-likecreature that seemed enthralled by those observing her. It turned out she was what is commonlycalled a red-cheeked gibbon and her much darker colored male counterpart had just swung ontothe limb behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders and looking past her at we creaturesoutside their cage. It was a very brief scene but was cute enough to elicit warm smiles from bothmyself and my wife. I do need to make it clear that the male did not “mount” the female, hesimply made a sort of embrace from behind for just a moment before moving on to other thingsof more interest to him. It was as if he was just checking to see what it was that had her curiosityin a reassuring way. The cute embrace and quiet isolation of the location prompted me to givethese two a longer watch. First let me provide a general description of the two red-cheeked gibbons I observed. Themales are dark in color, almost black throughout except for their white or light tan coloredcheeks. The cheeks can appear to have a reddish or pinkish hue, thus giving them their commonname. They are not very large, probably weighing twenty-five pounds or less. Their arms aretheir longest limbs and those arms appear rather muscular. Using brachiation as their primarymode of mobility, it is no surprise their arms appear so strong and looked to be nearly 50%longer than their legs. They do have opposing thumbs, but their elongated hands do not look tobe aided by thumbs during movement by brachiation. It appeared these Gibbons had fingernails,but whether those nails were extended further than the fingers or were not fully developed onsome fingers was not determinable from my view. Sexual dimorphism regarding size does notappear to exist. The female appeared smaller than the male, but this was very difficult to tell.However, sexual dimorphism that easily separates males from females is in this species andeasily observable in that the males are dark as described, with the white or reddish puffy cheeksbut the females are a tan color all over their bodies. Easily, breeding and diet could cause a
  9. 9. Wischnewsky 9/13female to be larger than the males. Thus, the sexual dimorphism appears to exist only in color.The taxonomic information about this specimen:Red-Cheeked Gibbon: ✔ Common Name: Red-Cheeked Gibbon ✔ Forearms to hindlimbs ratio: Arms 1.5 x hindlimb length ✔ Scientific Name: nomascus gabriellae ✔ Hand Grip: Almost exclusively ✔ Order: Primates forefingers, thumbs used during eating, ✔ Superfamily: Hominoidea food gathering, and grooming only ✔ Subfamily: N/A ✔ Primary Locomotion: Brachiation ✔ Family: Hylobatidae ✔ Sexual Dimorphism in size: Not significant, though the sexes do have ✔ Genus: Nomascus different coloring ✔ Species: Gabriellae ✔ Distribution: South Vietnam, southern ✔ Number in cage: 2 (1 male, 1 female) Laos, western Cambodia. ✔ Tail type: NONE ✔ Habitat: Tall, evergreen forests ✔ Nails on all digits? Appeared so, detail ✔ Diet: mostly fruit & leaves not possible from vantage point The male Red-Cheeked Gibbon … and the female Red-Cheeked Gibbon
  10. 10. Wischnewsky 10/13What I observed: Over the first thirty minutes, the female mostly lunged on a limb at the front of the cagelazily basking in the sun and watching those passing by. The male moved about some, tinkeringfrom time to time with leafy snacks. However, just a few minutes over the half hour mark, a verycurious event happened that changed the behavior of both gibbons for a good while. Because thelast fifteen minutes had much activity, I had to change my method of observation. As a result,below is a chart of what was observed for the first thirty minutes. After that is a log of eventstaking place. Both periods were noted in three minute intervals. Some behaviors may have beenmissed in the last fifteen minutes of observation because, while there was no erratic or radicallywild behavior, some movement of the two gibbons was fairly rapid. However, I believe any suchbehaviors that were missed were observed in subsequent three minute periods. Number of Occurrences at Interval (First interval was 9:33 AM)Behavior :33 :36 :39 :42 :45 :48 :51 :54 :57 :00 Sitting 1 1 0 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 Eating 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 Scratching 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 Auto- 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 grooming Grooming/ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 groomed Inspecting 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 Courtship/ 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Courted Present 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Lounging/ 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 Lying back Hanging 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 1
  11. 11. Wischnewsky 11/13 As mentioned earlier, it was after this first half hour that something happened thatchanged the dynamics of the cage and the two gibbons considerably. At 10:02 AM, a guidedgroup of children passed through the little enclave. These kids were probably ages seven to eightyears old and they were a very loud and raucous group. Though I was able to continue makingnotations in three minute intervals, the next set of observations begins at 10:02 AM because thatwas when the children came around the corner and seemed to be the likely cause of the behaviorsobserved over the next quarter of an hour. ➢ 10:02 AM – Very loud kids. ➢ 10:03 AM – F. moving – front of cage watching kids closely, scratching self; male rapidly joins her – female begins to make soft “whoo” sound aiming the call toward the crowds gathering – then her call becomes REALLY loud as if warning – then the male does it! Both making sound & aiming the calls toward the crowd – female begins to give a display w/noise, “whooo” call becomes more like howling sounds. ➢ 10:06 AM – M. continues to howl – both have moved around. F soft howl to LOUD howls – both have moved about. M. continues to howl – F. join now & then & can be much louder than the M. Both are hanging next to each other. During displays the stay close to each other – F. tends to be the one putting on displays, though M. has joined for very brief moments. ➢ 10:09 AM – F. scratches self, moves near ground, then higher up. M. still howling – M definitely not as loud as F. ➢ 10:12 AM – F. very loud again w/mild display. M still howls, but still relatively soft. Both continue moving about – sharing pose. M tends to go to F; F. seems upset, shows teeth in display now. F. has joined M after acting as if threatened. ➢ 10:15 AM – M seems to be cajoling F – his howls are more frequent when more ppl are present, but softer – hers become very loud, almost scared. At times M faces F as he makes his calls. Shes self cuddled. When she howls, she aims the howls @ viewers while M. aims his howls away from crowds when louder or at her when he his howling more softly.
  12. 12. Wischnewsky 12/13 It was hard to determine through this observation whether males or females play adominant role in red-cheeked gibbon social units. The female did the territorial inspection twicewith the male joining only after she initiated the behavior. Both sexes were about the same sizeso sexual dimorphism was not really present to determine if males play a dominant role.However, the males and females are easily distinguishable by the color of their coats. The femaleseemed more concerned with potential threats to the territory. Once the female had a reason tofeel threatened, she put up a noticeable display that the male joined. However, the male was notas enthusiastic about the display and made his own inspection of the cage/territory. Satisfiedthere were no actual threats within their territory, the male became much calmer. A couple oftimes he sat or stood very close behind the female, almost in a courtship manner, while loweringhis howls to much softer tones than the female was using. It took the male several minutes toreassure the female, in this manner, that there were no real threats. Still, the female was not fullysatisfied. Staying close to the male, looking to make sure he was close behind her, she wouldthen howl in the loud, bitter way at the passersby that were more animate. Throughout the eventdisplays of warning, with arms waving somewhat pacing in manner that seemed a warning (viabrachiation), were present even with the male. Aspects of evolution were observable, as well. The forearms, as mentioned, were longerthan the hindlimbs. Since the red-cheeked gibbon obviously moves primarily throughbrachiation, the strong, long arms made mobility very easy for this pair. From what I observed,there was no apparent need for the males and females to have different colored coats. Dependingon the normal habitat, maybe the females coat could blend with tree trunks better. It did seemthat the male has to win approval of the female and, perhaps, that is part of why the male has amore ornate appearance. The problem with this hypothesis, though, is that it was definitely themale that determined whether or not a threat actually existed and the female appeared to need the
  13. 13. Wischnewsky 13/13males reassurance that everything was fine. This indicates to me that the female depends on themale heavily for security or protection. It was good to do the observation exercise. When I was an adolescent raising mallardducks, I got to know the species very well simply by watching my ducks sometimes for hours ata time. This exercise reminded me thats really the only way to fully appreciate differentanimals. As people, we do try to humanize some of the behaviors we observe in animals. Or sothat is the theory. I tend to think that we do the opposite. What we call humanity could be calledanimality. The behaviors that we thus see in ourselves could be sometimes called animificationinstead of personification in animals. In any case, whether we consider other species Godscreations or as having evolved from the same source, to get the best appreciation of our earthlyneighbors certainly requires spending time observing them for more than a minute or two passingby a cage.

×