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3 pages/≈825 words
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APA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Project: assignment in Anthropology (Essay Sample)

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As a required assignment in Anthropology 1, we were sent to the San Diego zoo to take detailed records in observing two separate ape groups. For my own reference, I decided to go for the gorillas and the orangutans.
Gorillas are big hairy mammals; they were either black or brown, from what I have observed. At the San Diego zoo, they were kept enclosed at a wide area designed to look similar with their natural habitat with a variety of fruits and vegetables accessible to them. This makes it a lot more convenient for them because they are far away from their real home.
Anyway, I found the gorillas especially endearing. Their gentle nature makes it all the more interesting to watch them since they were physically big and fierce-looking which kind of makes the whole thing ironic at some point. Also, it is apparent that gorillas are a family-oriented type of apes; I have observed that they kept close together the entire time and they appear to have been interacting with each other through their low grunts and awkward gestures. As a matter of fact, that was how they have been for the most part of my observation - grunting, playing around and of course, eating some leaves and bananas.
As for the orangutans, they are hairy mammals too but they weren`t so big in size as the gorillas; they are actually smaller such that they can still be carried around by the zookeepers or trainers. Their environment was nearly similar with those of the gorillas in that it is wide and forest-like. Meanwhile, what was interesting about the orangutans was how they seem to prefer privacy - as if to imply an each-ape-his-own kind of scenario.
Orangutans may appear closely related to that of the gorillas at a physical structure; but then their personality in comparison to the other says otherwise. For example, orangutans prefer being somewhat independent; while gorillas are more interactive, especially within their family group. And while gorillas are more "behaved" in nature, orangutans tend to be sly and mischievous.
I haven`t really seen first-hand how orangutans spread their mischief about but from what I heard about Ken Allan, orangutans can be very intelligent creatures. Ken Allan was one San Diego zoo`s superstar animals; apparently, he constantly attempted to escape his enclosure. He had demonstrated a series of impressive tactics which made him famous in the first place. I would have loved to see Ken Allan in action but sadly he had already passed away a couple of years ago.
On the other hand, I also noticed how they would spend most of their time just sitting around - or at least that was how the orangutan I focused on was. That particular orangutan seemed to be just waiting for something. It struck me then that this one might be thinking although I`m not really sure what it is about but it would be fascinating to know.
Once I saw this documentary in Animal Planet placing emphasis on the apes of the forest and the extent of their abilities. At one...
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