Patrick Jose IV. V. Andaya
The Social Climbers
Last week, we watched a documentary about monkeys, a mammal which they say is our closest relative in terms of evolution. It shows and explains the lives of different species of monkeys, and also the similarities between them and us humans.
There are different kinds of monkeys, like gorillas, orangutans, and smaller varieties as well. Even if their way of living is a bit different from each other, as some hunt other monkeys for their food and some look for fruits and leaves, they all act like they are part of a social structure, a society in which they belong. Just like there are different kinds of humans, we are still all social creatures and thrive in groups.
One thing mentioned in the documentary that amazed me was the monkey’s ability to learn tasks, make and use tools, from observation, which other animals can’t do. We don’t see other animals do it, so how is it that monkeys can? The documentary explains that another similarity between them and us humans is our exceptionally larger brains, which allows us to do the things that we do.
The documentary left me in a feeling of awe, the feeling you get when you learn something new again. Also, the documentary has left me thinking about the movie series The Planet of the Apes, and how it is not really as fictional as it seemed when I first watched it some years ago.