The study of primatology looks at the biological and psychological aspects of non-human primates. The focus is on studying the common links between humans and primates. It is believed that by understanding our closest animal relatives, we might better understand the nature shared with our ancestors.
Primatology is a science. The general belief is that the scientific observation of nature must be either extremely limited, or completely controlled. Either way, the observers must be neutral to their subjects.
This allows for data to be unbiased and for the subjects to be uninfluenced by human interference. There are three methodological approaches in primatology: Field is done in natural environments, in which scientific observers watch primates in their natural habitat. Laboratory study is done in controlled lab settings.
In lab settings, scientists are able to perform controlled experimentation on the learning capabilities and behavioral patterns of the animals. In semi-free ranging studies, scientists are able to watch how primates might act in the wild but have easier access to them, and the ability to control their environments.
All types of primate study in the Western methodology are meant to be neutral. Although there are certain Western primatologists who do more subjective research, the emphasis in this discipline is on the objective.
Early field primatology tended to focus on individual researchers. In , Jane Goodall traveled to the forest at Gombe Stream in Tanzania where her determination and skill allowed for her to observe behaviors of the chimpanzees that no researcher had seen prior.
Chimpanzees used tools made from twigs to extract termites from their nests. Fossey learned that female gorillas are often transferred between groups and gorillas eat their own dung to recycle nutrients.
Galdikas utilized statistics and modern data collection to conclude her doctoral thesis regarding orangutan behavior and interactions. Long-term sites of research tend to be best associated with their founders, and this led to some tension between younger primatologists and the veterans in the field. The discipline of Japanese primatology was developed out of animal ecology. It is mainly credited to Kinji Imanishi and Junichiro Itani. Imanishi was an animal ecologist who began studying wild horses before focusing more on primate ecology.
He helped found the Primate Research Group in Junichiro was a renowned anthropologist and a professor at Kyoto University. The Japanese discipline of primatology tends to be more interested in the social aspects of primates. Social evolution and anthropology are of primary interest to them. The Japanese theory believes that studying primates will give us insight into the duality of human nature: It is believed that animals should be treated with respect, but also a firm authority.
This is not to say that the Japanese study of primatology is cruel — far from it — just that it does not feel that their subjects should be given reverential treatment. One particular Japanese primatologist, Kawai Masao , introduced the concept of kyokan. This was the theory that the only way to attain reliable scientific knowledge was to attain a mutual relation, personal attachment and shared life with the animal subjects. Though Kawai is the only Japanese primatologist associated with the use of this term, the underlying principle is part of the foundation of Japanese primate research.
Japanese primatology is a carefully disciplined subjective science. It is believed that the best data comes through identification with your subject. Neutrality is eschewed in favour of a more casual atmosphere, where researcher and subject can mingle more freely.
Domestication of nature is not only desirable, but necessary for study. Japanese primatologists are renowned for their ability to recognise animals by sight, and indeed most primates in a research group are usually named and numbered. Comprehensive data on every single subject in a group is uniquely Japanese trait of primate research. Each member of the primate community has a part to play, and the Japanese researchers are interested in this complex interaction.
For Japanese researchers in primatology, the findings of the team are emphasised over the individual. The study of primates is a group effort, and the group will get the credit for it. A team of researchers may observe a group of primates for several years in order to gather very detailed demographic and social histories. Where sociobiology attempts to understand the actions of all animal species within the context of advantageous and disadvantageous behaviors, primatology takes an exclusive look at the order Primates, which includes Homo sapiens.
The interface between primatology and sociobiology examines in detail the evolution of primate behavioral processes, and what studying our closest living primate relatives can tell about our own minds. The meeting point of these two disciplines has become a nexus of discussion on key issues concerning the evolution of sociality, the development and purpose of language and deceit, and the development and propagation of culture.
Additionally, this interface is of particular interest to the science watchers in science and technology studies, who examine the social conditions which incite, mould, and eventually react to scientific discoveries and knowledge.
The STS approach to primatology and sociobiology stretches beyond studying the apes, into the realm of observing the people studying the apes. Before Darwin , and before molecular biology , the father of modern taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus , organized natural objects into kinds, that we now know reflect their evolutionary relatedness. He sorted these kinds by morphology , the shape of the object. Animals such as monkeys, chimpanzees and orangutans resemble humans closely, so Linnaeus placed Homo sapiens together with other similar-looking organisms into the taxonomic order Primates.
Although social grooming is observed in many animal species, the grooming activities undertaken by primates are not strictly for the elimination of parasites. In primates, grooming is a social activity that strengthens relationships. The amount of grooming taking place between members of a troop is a potent indicator of alliance formation or troop solidarity.
Robin Dunbar suggests a link between primate grooming and the development of human language. This number is referred to as the monkeysphere. If a population exceeds the size outlined by its cognitive limitations, the group undergoes a schism.
Set into an evolutionary context, the Dunbar number shows a drive for the development of a method of bonding that is less labor-intensive than grooming: As the monkeysphere grows, the amount of time that would need to be spent grooming troopmates soon becomes unmanageable. Furthermore, it is only possible to bond with one troopmate at a time while grooming. The evolution of vocal communication solves both the time constraint and the one-on-one problem, but at a price.
Language allows for bonding with multiple people at the same time at a distance, but the bonding produced by language is less intense. This view of language evolution covers the general biological trends needed for language development, but it takes another hypothesis to uncover the evolution of the cognitive processes necessary for language.
Although these modules do not need to be physically distinct, they must be functionally distinct. Orangutans are currently being taught language at the Smithsonian National Zoo using a computer system developed by primatologist Dr.
Francine Neago in conjunction with IBM. The massive modularity theory thesis posits that there is a huge number of tremendously interlinked but specialized modules running programs called Darwinian algorithms , or DA.
DA can be selected for just as a gene can, eventually improving cognition. The contrary theory, of generalist mind, suggests that the brain is just a big computer that runs one program, the mind. If the mind is a general computer, for instance, the ability to use reasoning should be identical regardless of the context. This is not what is observed. However, when exposed to a test with an identical rule set but socially relevant content, respondents score markedly higher.
The difference is especially pronounced when the content is about reward and payment. This test strongly suggests that human logic is based on a module originally developed in a social environment to root out cheaters, and that either the module is at a huge disadvantage where abstract thinking is involved, or that other less effective modules are used when faced with abstract logic.
Further evidence supporting the modular mind has steadily emerged with some startling revelations concerning primates. A very recent study indicated that human babies and grown monkeys approach and process numbers in a similar fashion, suggesting an evolved set of DA for mathematics Jordan. The conceptualization of both human infants and primate adults is cross-sensory, meaning that they can add 15 red dots to 20 beeps and approximate the answer to be 35 grey squares.
As more evidence of basic cognitive modules are uncovered, they will undoubtedly form a more solid foundation upon which the more complex behaviors can be understood.
In contradiction to this, neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp has argued that the mind is not a computer nor is it massively modular. He states that no evidence of massive modularity or the brain as a digital computer has been gained through actual neuroscience, as opposed to psychological studies. He criticises psychologists who use the massive modularity thesis for not integrating neuroscience into their understanding.
Primate behavior, like human behavior, is highly social and ripe with the intrigue of kingmaking , powerplays, deception, cuckoldry, and apology. In order to understand the staggeringly complex nature of primate interactions, we look to theory of mind.
Fallon has both laboratory and sanctuary primate experience. At Chimp Haven, she worked with chimpanzees who were retired from biomedical research. It was rewarding to develop relationships with and thank the chimpanzees for giving their lives to research. Fallon is honored to have this opportunity again, this time with monkeys! Hilary Hemmes-Kavanaugh is a primatologist and manager of the enrichment and behavioral research program at Primates Incorporated. She is currently monitoring the acclimatization of newly retired monkeys from medical laboratories along with developing our enrichment program with innovative and species-specific enrichment devices.
She is hopeful that her studies may contribute to our understanding of the behavioral processes that primates experience during retirement to sanctuary. Furthermore, she hopes that this knowledge can be used to reduce stress in retired individuals through improving our and other care facilities caregiving practices. Hilary graduated from Central Michigan University in with a bachelor of science. In she fulfilled a three month primate husbandry internship with the Primate Rescue Center and in a six month primate research internship with the gorillas and orangutans of the Smithsonian National Zoo.
In she obtained her master of science in primate behavior and ecology from Central Washington University. Bananas with peanut butter! Doing arts and crafts. Breanne Cyr has been a primate enthusiast since childhood, and her passion for primates continued to grow as she worked with monkeys on the University of Wisconsin campus. She graduated from the UW with a B. In her work with primates, Breanne enjoyed studying their behavior, social bonding, and health. She opted to complete a senior thesis project where she evaluated the links between social behavior, rank, and stress in juvenile monkeys.
Breanne describes Primates Incorporated as a dream come true right in her backyard.
PRIMATE BEHAVIOR OBSERVATION SHEET TIME Resting Sleeping Climbing Walking Running Eating Drinking Groom others Groom self .
The Primate Behavior and Ecology program provides students with interdisciplinary perspectives on the relationships between non-human primates and the environment in both captive and free-range settings. which is enriched by opportunities for field work, research, and husbandry training. The Primate Behavior and Ecology program is .
Primate Behavior. Humans are part of the biological group known as primates. Human Evolution Research. Climate and Human Evolution. Climate Effects on Human Evolution; Survival of the Adaptable; East African Research Projects. Olorgesailie Field Blog. Olorgesailie Dispatches;. Primate Behavior: Developments in Field and Laboratory Research, Volume 2, features a collection of papers that points toward the significance and efficacy of the interspecific and interenvironmental comparative approaches to the study of primate behavior. Continuing the general theme of the series, this volume combines a number of papers.
Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse discipline at the boundary between mammalogy and anthropology, and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, . Dr. Murray is one of the Lead Investigators of the Gombe Chimpanzee Research Project, which allows our lab to partner new field data with over 50 years of long-term behavioral records. As the most extensive great ape dataset in the world, we can finally investigate social behavior across the lifespan and directly relate behavior to reproductive .