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Primate Study at the San Diego Zoo (Essay Sample)

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Primate Study at the San Diego Zoo
1.) Gorilla Enclosure
The gorilla enclosure is spacious, with a meadow and cascading waterfall for the gorillas to relax in. Their environment is set up so that there are a lot for these large creatures to do and interact with. There are climbing areas and grassy slopes for them to play on, as well as large rocks where they can lounge and relax. Moreover, there are ample plants and lush vegetation, apparently native to Africa.
The gorillas are the largest of all the primate groups. They garner a lot of fascination and are often described as peaceful and family-oriented. This is said to be so because they have no natural predators, and only attacked when provoked. Also they travel in packs, and function as a family unit, with a dominant male at its head. Like humans, they are able to stand upright, but prefer using both their arms and legs when walking around. Because of this, their muscles in their arms are larger than the ones in their legs, and their arms are elongated, longer than their legs. These indicate that their ancestors were tree dwellers, although gorillas today are more of terrestrial beings. Furthermore, gorillas are one of the primate groups known for their ‘knuckle walk’. Because they prefer being quadrupeds, they use the back of their hands as feet, supporting their weight on their curled hands. The gorillas have a dark, fine coat, varying from brownish-gray to black. They have a massive head, with a large bulging forehead that helps protect their eyes. Like other primates, their thumb and big toe enable them to grasp and manipulate objects. This comes in handy when scaring off intruders, as they are able to pull off branches or pick up sticks and use them as we would weapons. Like humans, they have fingernails and toenails that they used to scrape, clean, and scratch. Gorillas can be identified as individuals because of their finger and toe prints, which are unique, as well as the shape and wrinkles on their face. Unlike their other primate relatives, Gorillas do not have tails.
In each troop or group of gorillas there is a ‘silverback’ that is known as the group leader. In a family he would be known as the patriarch, responsible for the troops safety, as well as making all the decisions of where to eat, when to rest, travel and sleep. As the alpha male, the silver back asserts his authority by beating his chest with his fists, yelling, and baring his teeth when challenged by another male in the troop.
Orangutan enclosure
Like the Gorilla enclosure, the orangutans have a lot of space to play and interact. Their enclosure is also filled with plenty of plants and trees indigenous to their native Asian rainforest. As they appear very active, there are plenty of trees play areas, ropes and poles for which the orangutans can swing on and play with. One interesting thing they have in their enclosure are simulated termite mounds which they seem to enjoy very much.
Orangutans are known to be lively, curious creatures. They are the world’s largest arboreal mammal, and Asia’s largest primates. They are renowned for their orange-red hair, which varies between dark brown and pale red-orange. Their hair is long, thin, and shaggy. As arboreal primates, they make...
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