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Anthropology - Annotated Bib

  • Date Submitted: 05/18/2010 08:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.4 
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I. Cheney, D.L., and Seyfarth, R.M. Social and Non-Social Knowledge in Vervet Monkeys.   Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences.   Vol. 306. London: The Royal Society, 1985. 187-201.
  II. Summary: The authors of the chapter in Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Science called “Social and Non-Social Knowledge in Vervet Monkeys” describe how vervet monkeys are able to “recognize dominance relations, rank orders, and matrilineal kinship, and they [are able to] remember who has behaved affinitively towards them in the past.” On the other hand, the vervet monkeys “appear to know…little about [certain] aspects of their environment.”
      A. The argument: The behavior of the vervet monkey to common social interactions has not evolved to deal with environmental issues. Studies conducted in Amboseli National Park, Kenya prove and support the authors’ view that “primate intelligence has evolved mainly to solve social problems.”
      B. Problem #1: Data
        i. When tested in a laboratory, primates faced situations that were comparable to events that would naturally occur in the wilderness.
        ii. Vervet monkeys in Amboseli National Park, Kenya are preyed upon by leopards, other carnivores, eagles, baboons and pythons. When preyed upon the vervet monkeys give distinct predator alarm calls and with these alarm calls, the vervet monkeys are able to distinguish whether the predator is an avian or a terrestrial predator.
            1. The authors conducted an experiment where they would playback the alarm calls of the vervet monkeys, as well as a song, to see their reaction. The results, expressed in a bar graph, showed that while the predator alarm call for the terrestrial predator played, fifty-percent of the vervet monkeys ran to a tree, while about five percent of the subjects looked up. While the predator alarm call for the avian predator was played back, over...

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