Marinella A. Guansing
The Life of Mammals: “The Social Climbers” And “Food for Thought”
The Life of Mammals is a nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough. It is a comprehensive study of how a remarkable group of animals evolved - a group that includes ourselves. “The Social Climbers” and “Food for Thought” are the two last episodes of this ten-part series. (BBC Earth)
The group of animals studied in the documentary were monkeys and apes. Indeed, these creatures possess magnificent attributes worth studying.
The first episode’s title, “The Social Climbers,” was quite genius because of its ambiguous concept. We commonly refer to people who so desperately try to sophisticate their social status as social climbers. But in this episode, we talk about social animals who are capable of climbing trees.
The first episode focuses on the different types of monkeys which are considered the most social animals. It presented the way of life of the species from how they eat, mate, and survive. One fascinating trait that amazed me was their ability to produce an alarm call whenever a predator or a threat is seen, each type with a different alarm call. These species possess intelligence more complex than those of other creatures. They are capable of gathering their own food, and they are socially organized as they have an alpha male, which is considered the leader of the group. Also, these resourceful creatures have a class system, in which each class differs in privileges.
After the episode on the life of monkeys, we proceeded to the next episode, “Food for Thought”. This episode presented the apes’ capability to perform and mimic human activities. They were able to row, use a hammer and a nail, and even wash socks. This species displays great potential in gaining knowledge, applying it, and sharing it with others. This episode shows the apes’ intellect and capacity to perform and process complex things. This is truly amazing and this documentary made me become interested in the capabilities of these species. At the end of the video clip, I could tell that time will come when apes and monkeys will be capable of more complex human activities and shock the world.