Primates Essay

Submitted By alextompkins2
Words: 1490
Pages: 6

Primates/Quest for Fire Essay Questions
2. What different manifestations of territoriality can be seen in the primate world? Every animal, whether it be a primate or not, is very sensitive when it comes to territory, and they all have different ways of dealing with their separation from others. With respect to territory, the main concern for all animals, and humans, is to ensure the protection of oneself and one’s family. The gorilla, for example, lives in small family groups and can get very violent if there is a territorial breach, as they are determined to protect their family. Their way of avoiding a situation like this is through intimidation, where the father gorilla will beat its chest sending out a warning that this is his family’s area. The hamadryas baboon also deals with territorial rights through violent acts. The differences between the gorilla and the baboon is that the baboons have much larger fights, as they live in colonies up to 400 strong. They fight more like a tribe or army would, rather than in a one on one duel.
The macaques also live in groups of various families, however not quite as large as the baboons. Their locational borders are based on social status rather than pure strength. With the macaques, there is a sense of exclusiveness or elitism ruling on whether one will get a place in the hot springs or be forced back into the cold forests of Japan. The ring-tail lemur is a very peaceful animal when it comes to territory, unlike the majority of primates seen in the Life episode. They have glands in their wrists, which are predominantly used for attracting mates, but this adaptation performs another service. They simply mark trees and vegetation around their living area with their scented perfume-like liquid, keeping other lemurs and animals away.
In Quest for Fire, the primates in all the tribes had a source of protection: weapons. Weapons used in this movie include spears, arrows, and fire, all used to protect a tribe’s habitat. They were used to keep out, or attempt to keep out, animals and other primate species. This sense of territorialism is closest to that of humans, because no other primate uses weapons for protection. However, we have traits of almost all of these methods of protection. Humans have organized border control for almost every country, using weapons of all different levels of magnitude for protection. Also within countries, homeowners apply an alarm system to their house to protect territorial breach. Like all primates, Humans worry only about the protection of themselves and their people. Although they may have different methods of protection, the basis of territoriality is universal throughout the primate world.

3. How important to our evolution was the mastery of making fire?
Fire can serve many different purposes in the primate world. A source of heat would be the most obvious use, but we have also learned how to use it for cooking, lighting, protection, and tool making. These are all necessary for life while living in the wild, whether you are a human or a Neanderthal. In Quest for Fire, we saw that the tribe used fire for all of these necessities. They have adapted to using fire to the point where without it the tribe would suffer. This shows that the mastery of making fire was, and still is, incredibly important to the survival of our species. Without it, we simply would not have heat, not be able to cook, not able to ward off predators, or have access to any other use of fire. This is why these decedents of humans put their lives on the line to retrieve fire from other tribes, because without it they would surely die. By the end of the movie, they were taught and learned how, not only to control fire, but how to make it from materials at their disposal.
Humans are the only creatures that have mastered fire in present day, but there are many other animals that would thrive, more so than they already are, with the use of the element fire. For example, the