San Francisco Zoo has about 260 animal species. Some of the primates present in the Zoo include: Black Howler Monkey, Chimpanzee, Emperor tamarin, Francois' langur, Lion-tailed macaqueMandrill, Patas monkey, Pied tamarin, Siamang among others. These primates exhibit different behaviors depending on their environment as well as their natural characteristics. I conducted a visit to San Francisco Zoo to observe the behaviors of these primates and their characteristics as well as determine the factors that enable them to behave in a certain way.
Inside the Zoo most of the primates had organized themselves into well established intergroup. In these groups animals communicated through the use of signals. The animals displayed their signals through the use of their rear as well as front legs. Some even communicated through facial expression. For instance, monkeys communicated very effectively through the use of their face such as the eyes and the mouth. Communication through facial expression was highly observed among the chimps just as in the case of human beings (Fedigan, 234). Some primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees were observed to be feeding on fruits and nuts. Protective tendencies were evident as some animals tried to protect their sources especially the feeding areas. Thus, some took dominion over the feeding zones, no matter how small they were. On the same, some animals could walk on two rear legs such as the monkeys while the front ones acted as the hands. They could grab something with the front legs and start eating while holding it (Haraway, 120). However, the majority could only walk with the four legs.
The primates could also produce sounds. Such sounds were produced either as a sign of fear or aggressiveness. Primates such as gorillas could stand up just like human beings and start banging their chest. This is a form of communication to their fellows which could not be understood or interpreted by another party. They have their own culture of communicating as a group and taking action together (Haraway, 241). Some primates were also observed to imitate human behavior. For instance, when standing on their rear legs, they could imitate any behavior that you tended to do.
A close look into a group of primates such as monkeys, showed their regular behavior of competing for resources such as food and space. For instance, when you throw something edible, it was observed that all the animals tried to do the best to be the first to catch the stuff. Moreover, the mature male primates tend to compete for their mating partners. Thus, competition is highly evident among the animals. One unique thing with competition which was observed is that the animals competed according to their size and maturity. The weak ones tend to shy away from competing with other animals (Alan, 72). Although animals were segmented according to their type, the more superior animals were likely to dominate any form of competition. After an intense competition or aggressiveness, animals tend to come together and display some form of submissiveness as well as appeasement. The primates were also seen to have well established dominance hierarchies (Campbell, 283). These are used to ensure that there is some degree of order within their parameters. This ranges from the higher ranking animals that are comprised of the old and big in size to those lower in the rank. Thus, pecking orders were seen in most primate groups.