Thursday, July 5, 2012

Primates: Locomotor and Learning


Description of where they live:             
               This type of primate, the lemur, lives amongst the trees in forests. Forest midlevel and up, is where you are most to find a lemur, except the ring-tailed lemur which is mostly on the ground level. Lemurs are usually diurnal, meaning that they are active and awake during the day, while night time is all about sleep. There are some lemurs, whom are of the smaller stature (“mouse” lemurs or “dwarves” as they are called) that are nocturnal.

Description of this primate’s character trait:
                Lemurs are herbivores, having a diet consisting of mainly leaves and fruits.  Cheirogaleidae (dwarves), a family of lemurs, has a diet of fruit and prey such as insects, frogs, etc. Indriidae, another family of lemurs, eats strictly as vegetarians. Daubentoniidae, the last of the lemur family’s, are primarily carnivorous, their prey consists of insects, eggs and birds.

Description of Primate’s trait that influences Environment:

                Many of these lemurs live high amongst the trees, making it easier and more convenient to be in reach of their food. Because they live in such tropical forest-like places, their diet consisting of fruits, plants, and small insects are easy to come by.

Spider Monkey:

Description of where they live:
               New world monkeys live in arboreal habitats throughout the Amazonian ecosystem and the neotropics. They occupy a variety of niches by adapting to different food sources located at different vertical levels in the forest. The resources of a particular tropical forest without directly competing.

Description of primate’s character trait:

               They play a role in the food chairs for consuming fruits and nuts. Spider Monkey’s get consumed by jaguars, harpy eagles, or small cats called ocelots. However, they are particularly effective as seed dispersers, both in terms of quantity and quality. Being a spider monkey, their diet consists of about 90 percent fruits and nuts. They eat the fruits of many big forest trees, and because it swallows fruits whole, the seeds will eventually pass out. Spider monkeys are diurnal and most of the feeding happens between dawn and 10 am. After the morning feeding, the adults typically rest while the young play. Throughout the rest of the day, they may feed infrequently around 10pm or so. If their food is low, they can always resort to eating insects, bark, and rotting forest, and honey. The spider monkey has a unique way of getting food because there is a lead female responsible for feeding. If she cannot find enough food for the entire group, they split into smaller ones to find food easier.

Describe the Primate’s trait influencing environment:

                Spider Monkeys live in forest areas, mostly within the Central and South American areas, they can adapt to different fruits found amongst forests in order to compete for food to survive. They also eat the insects that they found in the leaves that they eat, so there is ways of changing and adapting to their eating, although they are known for eating almost anything. The main problem that they are facing is the competiting of the same kind of fruit amongst one another.


Description of Primates Living Arrangements:
               These monkeys are widely distributed in the Old World from southern Europe into NW Africa; throughout Africa south of the Sahara; and through central and Asia. Including Southern China and most of Japan as well. Some Ceropithecids show greater tolerance for cold than any other non-human primates; one macaque inhabits the cold and snowy regions of northern Japan. The steep side of gorges among the open, uplands of Ethiopian highlands at altitudes of 2000 to 4000m. The climate is mostly cool with heavy rainfall from June to September and very little at other times. Mainly only grasses and stunted vegetation can survive the cold nights and periods of drought. The earliest records of ceropithecids are from the Oligocene of Egypt. All fossil records are from the Old World, matching the distribution of modern species. Some extinct species were huge; one nearly reached the side of a gorilla!

Description of Character Trait of Primate:

               Ceropithecids are divided into two ecologically and morphologically distinct subfamilies. The Ceropithecines are omnivorous, have cheek pouches, and simple stomachs; while the colobines are folivorous, lack cheek pouches, and have very much complex stomach. Other sources of food such as acacia leaves, cultivates seed crops and fruit, represent only about five percent of its diet. Shortly after dawn, the feladas leave their rocky gorges an clamber up onto open grasslands to graze. Since the food they eat is of such low quality, they much forage all day to meet their energy requirements.

How Primate’s trait influences its direct environment:

                Since the kind of primate lives mostly in cold areas, it has adapted better in this kind of climate, fruits and seeds crops only represents a little part of their diet. It is easy to understand why since in this kind of climate, seeds and fruits are not easy to come by. This is why in order to get their main source of energy they eat grass because it is easily found. In a way that is why they have developed such complex stomachs so they can basically eat whatever is found.


Description of Primate Environment:
                Gibbons are found in tropical forests of southeastern Asia, they prefer the upper forest canopy. Amongst them is where fruits are abundant and spread branches allowing for continuous travels. They also thrive in surviving areas of forests that have been logged.

Description of Character Trait of Primate:

                They are primarily vegetation, feeding on figs and other fruits, leaves and shoots. Gibbons are omnivorous animals meaning that they eat a mixture of both plant and animal matter. The main food of the gibbon is ripe fruit which grow around them in the trees, and makes up around three quarters of the gibbon’s diet. Gibbons also prey on insects, eggs, spiders and small birds.

Discussion on Primate’s trait to Influencing Environment:

                Gibbons have developed long arms to move from one tree to another in order to get the fruits that constitute the most important part of their diet. They can also move pretty fast so they are predator also for insects, spiders, and small birds. They live in tropical environments so they can get the fruit, and develop a good flexibility to reach the top of trees.


Desciption of Primate’s Enviroment:
                Chimpanzee’s live in a wide variety of habitats, including tropical rain forests, woodlands, swamp forests, and glasslands amongst Western Africa. The different subspecies of chimpanzees live in different parts of Western and Central Africa in 21 different countries, from the Atlantic coast to well inland.

Description of Primate’s Character Trait:

                Hominids are omnivorous, primarily frugivorous or folivorous. Chimpanzees are omnivores, eating plants and meat. They forages for food in the forests during the day, eating leaves, fruit, seeds, tree bark, plant bulbs and more. They also enjoy eating termites, ants and other small animals. Chimpanzees drink water, often by using a chewed leaf as a sponge to sop up the water.

Discussion on Primate’s influence to the Environment:

                Since chimpanzees are one of the biggest yet strongest of the primates, it is not weird that they even are able to eat young monkeys. This big size also has an impact on the type of fruit they can get and that is why there are omnivorous in comparison with smaller primates; that they can only live of fruits and seeds because they can move from tree to tree more easily. The fruits are part of their diets since their common habitat are tropical forest, also where they can be easily found.

Locomotor Patterns

            For the most part, Lemurs are quadrupedal, meaning they walk on all fours. However, they are also well-known leapers and climbers.

Spider Monkeys:
           There are many different types of locomotion that spider monkeys may use. The type of locomotion is quadrupedal, which is using all four limbs to walk or run. Then there is the suspensory locomotion, which is used when hanging, climbing or moving through trees.

         Baboons locomotor pattern is a quadrupedal and on their digits. Walking on their digits specifically means to walk on their toes with the heels not touching the ground. This is known as being a digitigrades quadrupedalism.

            Gibbons main locomotor patter is brachiating. When gibbons brachiates, they use four fingers of their hands like a hook; they do not use their thumbs. Gibbons are known for being very acrobatic and agile. Givvnos lives are spent mainly in trees. It is very rate for a gibbon to be on the ground but when they are, they walk bipedally, on two legs. Gibbons do not know how to swim, so they avoid water as best as they can. Gibbons are also able to walk along small branches, high up in the air and stretch their arms out to help them keep their balance.

            Chimpanzees usually walk on all fours, which mean they walk on the sides of their feels and the knuckles of their hands. However, chimpanzees can always walk upright, meaning they will walk on their feet when they need to use their arms to carry something. Chimpanzees are also known for their ability to swing from branch to branch in the trees, which is known as brachiating.

My Summary:

             As for the Spider Monkey and the Gibbon, I would say that the way they move (locomotor patterns) was greatly influenced by the primates environment .  If these primates were not able to hang from a tree or able to swing from branch to branch and had to walk on the ground they would be more prone to being eaten by a bigger predator. This would be of a great deal of problems for these primates due to their small size. With the ability to hang from the trees and swing from the branches they are able to stay up in the high trees and keep themselves safe from the predators on the ground, surviving within the forest.

              For the Chimpanzee, I would say that the locomotion trait has been adapted to the environment.  Chimpanzees are primates that can change due to their environment rather quickly.  The way they move, easily adjusts to the living conditions.  Chimpanzee’s are able to walk on all fours or if they need to carry food or something else they are able to walk on two of their limbs.  Chimpanzees are also able to climb trees and suspend themselves from branches.  I think the chimpanzees locomotion trait works to their advantage since they are able to adapt easily to any environment that they are in, they find a way of survival.

              Baboons walk on all fours and their digits which is the tips of their toes and the knuckles of their hands.  This locomotion trait, I believe has helped the baboons keep their hands and the soles of their feet from becoming to rough since they are not able to climb trees or hang from branches. 
              Lemurs adapted to their environment rather well considering they are either on the ground or in the trees the locomotion movement of Lemurs has adapted well to their environment.  They are able to move on the ground very rapidly and if need be can leap into the trees and have great balance.
              I would say that the influence the environment has on physical and behavioral traits has a huge impact.  I say this because we adapt to whatever situation or wherever we are so that we are compatible with what we are doing.  I believe the same is for primates.  The primates adapted to the environment that they were dealt.  Some primates got pushed out of their natural environment and was relocated to a new one.  With the new environment comes new issues, such as types of food, shelter, and the make up of the ground.  The primates learned how to walk to keep their feet and hands from becoming to rough and other primates figured out how to leap into the higher trees or keep their balance on a slimmer tree branch.  The environment impacts our traits immensely. 


  1. Overall, I really liked your post it was neat and very detailed. It answered all the questions in a really well informed manner. My favorite part I would have to say was how you summarized at the end. It fully covered everything you said in you post above but in an easy to understand more concise way. I think that you accomplished the goal of this post really well.

    Good Work!

    Jaqi Gibson

  2. The first pic made me giggle. Monkey's are so funny, and the first picture he looks like he's hatching an evil plan.
    I found your summary to be quite informative and enjoyed your writing and organization of this blog :) I find it interesting that some primates use their tails more then their hands and feet when they are traveling along in their environment. I also agree with you when you say primates adapt to the environment that they are dealt. It's very true. If the monkey's environment and living situation is in trees, their tails will be stronger. If the monkey's environment and living situation focuses more on the ground, their hands and feet come into play.

  3. Okay, you had me worried until I saw you had included the locomotor information at the end of your post. You made a great connection between diet and their environment and brought that around to connect it with locomotion at the end. It would have been clearer if the locomotion had been included with the main part of your post in the "Specified Character Trait" section of each, but your points have been made.

  4. Very informative and I must say that you picked the most candid and interesting pictures for your blog very entertaining.

  5. haha love the pictures. the summary really made this post. it really brings together the whole thing and was very informative. You provided lots of good information and i definitely learned a lot. Good job