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Observation Essay: Chimpanzee vs White Cheeked Gibbon

Observation: Chimpanzee vs White Cheeked Gibbon
An observation was conducted at Lincoln Park Zoo of two species of Apes. The observation was of Chimpanzee and White Cheeked Gibbon. All the observation took place in the morning when the species were active and very play full. The observation covered the characteristics of the species with their comparison and also their behaviors.

Characteristics of species one-Chimpanzee
Chimpanzees are classified under mammals in the order of primates. Their Latin name is Pan Troglodytes. They can reach up to 3 to 4 ½ feet in height and they weigh between 100 and 150 pounds. The male are heavier than the female. Baby chimpanzees seemed to way between 3 to 5 pounds. It was observed that the chimpanzees stay in group of 10 and more, the groups have more female than male and at least three children. Their bodies are thickset with long arms and short legs with no tail. The long arms grip firmly the trees when they are swinging. Their bodies are covered with long black hair except for the ears, face, fingers and toes. Some have whiskers on their chin. They also have flat face, small nose and forward facing eyes.

They move in arboreal setting by swinging, clinging and climbing to branches. They use their long arms to swing from branch to branch. They have opposable thumbs except that they are shorter than those of humans. Chimpanzees are quadruped, they move on all fours. When walking, they use their knuckles for support with their finger half flexed. This movement is because of the shorter legs and longer arms. They also have opposable toes with good strength of griping. Chimps are capable of bipedal locomotion. This means that they can walk upright on two legs other than using the four limbs. They only do that when they need to carry something in their hands. They spend same time in the ground compared to the time they spend in the trees.

Characteristics of specie two- White Cheeked Gibbon
White Cheeked Gibbons are classified under mammals in the order of primates. Their Latin name is Nomascus leucogenys. They can reach up to 18 to 25 inches in height and they weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. The male are heavier than the female. Baby Gibbons seemed to way between 1 to 2 pounds. It was observed that the white cheeked gibbons live in small groups of five; the groups are families of male, female and their children. Their bodies are lightly built with long arms and legs with no tail. The long arms grip firmly the trees when they are swinging. Their bodies are covered with fur with their head covered with long fur. The male are black in color with a small part in the face around the cheek is covered with white fur. The female are blonde. They have a flat face and small nose.

They move in arboreal setting by swinging, clinging and climbing to branches and also a style known as brachiation. They form a loose hook around the branch that allows them move through trees using hand over hand motion. They have opposable thumbs except that they are shorter than those of humans. Their long hands and limbs can allow them to cover more than 10 feet in one swing. White cheeked gibbons walk on their hind legs suspending their arms to maintain balance. They rarely stay on the ground.

Comparison of the two species
The two species have some similar characteristics. Both the chimps and white cheeked gibbons are of the same classification of mammals and order of primate. The both species do not have tails. They all are quadruped and bidruped. Both male of the two species are black in color. The two species both have a flat face and small nose.

The two species also have some difference. The chimps are much heavier than the white cheeked gibbons. The chimps have long arms and short limbs while the white cheeked gibbons have both long arms and limbs. The chimps are covered with hair while the white cheeked gibbons are covered with fur. The chimps support themselves using the knuckles while swinging. The white cheeked gibbons on the other hand, use their arms to maintain balance by suspending them while swinging,

Behavior of Chimpanzee
Based on ad libitum observation, it was noted that the chimpanzees live in large groups. It was noted that they chew leaves. Chimpanzees also walk erect for short distance. It was noted that they are agile climbers and are rest less during the day. They love eating fruits and some eat insects by picking them with twigs or grass stems. The female chimps do not like to stay where the sun is direct to them. They also made various sound while jumping and swinging especially in the morning.

During the focal sampling, each activity of the species was given at most 15 minutes in order to learn who they truly behave. It was observed that chimps live in large group consisting of different male and female groups. The groups were very flexible. It was observed that chimps chew leaves then dip them in water to suck out the moisture in them. They also eat lots of fruits and insects. They used twigs and grass stems to poke at ants and termite nests. Once the insects cling on them, the chimps eat them. It was observed that during the day the chimps spend their time in the ground and for short distances they walk using their limbs only. It was also observed that they built nest high up in trees by bending branches and intertwining them. Some chimps built their nests in the ground. It was observed that the female avoided direct sun. For those seen exposed, their bare skin on the bottom became swollen and pink. Most time when they were exposed to the sun, it was an indication that they want to mate. It was noted that the chimps like touching each other a lot and they kiss when meeting. They hold hands and groom each other. They are very friendly and maintain good relationship among themselves The female seemed to give their young ones much attention and also they help in babysitting chores. It was noted that the chimpanzees produce loud sound mainly for communication with each other. They also drum on hollow trees and clap their hands. When they are angry, they stand upright and wave their arms. They also throw branches or rocks to show they are angry.

The focal sampling method of observation was much better compared to the ad libitum method. One could not that the female’s bottoms turned color. It was not expected to find the chimps kissing, something they do more often.

Behavior of species two
Based on ad libitum observation, it was noted that the white cheeked gibbons stay in small family groups of five or less. It was noted that they eat lots of leaves, flowers and insects. They spend all there time up in the trees swing from branch to branch. It was noted that they love swinging in very tiny branches. They love eating fruits and some eat insects by picking them with twigs or grass stems. They also made various sound while jumping and swinging.

During the focal sampling, each activity of the species was given at most 15 minutes in order to learn who they truly behave. It was observed that chimps live in small; family groups consisting of two matting team and an infant. . It was observed that they eat a lot of leaves, insect and flowers. They also chased small birds. They spent most of their time up in the tree swinging and searching for food. The female seemed to give their young ones much concern. The young ones cling on their mother bottom while breastfeed. Early in the morning the gibbons produces same vocal sound, a tradition to them. It was also a sign of marking their boundaries by the males. The white cheeked gibbons like grooming each other especially the hair. It was also observed that they have a high sense of hearing. They also seemed to avoid the water when they were in the ground.

The focal sampling method of observation was best to describe the behavior of the white cheeked gibbons. It was easy to note that they do not like water at all. They also did not like staying on the ground, something it was not expected. It was noted that the white cheeked bones chased bird, something unusual. It is hard to say they eat birds but why would they be chasing them.

Comparison
There a lot of similarities between these two species. They both produce loud sound in the morning. The female of these both two species give much attention to their young ones. The males of these both species mark their territories by producing loud and aggressive sounds. They both love grooming each other. The difference between the two species is that that the chimps stay a lot on then ground compared to the white cheeked bones which do not like at all. The chimps are used been in water unlike the white cheeked gibbons who avoid water. The chimps mate more than the white cheeked gibbons. It is also clear that chimps stay in large groups of mixed groups while the white cheeked gibbons stay in family groups. The chimps are each other, a behavior that is not seen in white checked gibbons. The white cheeked gibbons are not as friendly as the chimpanzees. The white cheeked gibbons do not build nest like the chimps. It was also noted that chimps are friendly to humans compared to the white cheeked gibbons. The chimps even tend to get close to human and you may be surprised by them wanting to shake your hands. They also try interact and play with human

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