Friday, May 9, 2014

Social Climbers and Food for Thought: David Attenborough Documentaries

2011 - 44553

Social Climbers and Food for Thought are the last two segments of the series, The Life of Mammals, by David Attenborough. There were ten segments that completes the series that each dealt with a certain group of mammals: their evolutionary bases and their day-to-day routines. The ninth segment of this series, Social Climbers, focused on the observation of apes. This segment showed different species, such as capuchins, howler monkeys, pygmy marmosets, macaques, tamarins, baboons and geladas. The last segment, Food for Thought, focused on the study of apes and the evolution of human society in relation to its current state.

As time passed by, apes developed a lot of things in order to survive. They were able to establish a classification system among the groups of different species: the mere hygiene practices and body languages are signals or symbols of their hierarchy within their group. Apes also had the ability to defend themselves from different predators, or even from the environment they are living in. Some became carnivorous because the availability of food is not that enough. Most of the species are tree-dwelling and are situated on top of the trees most of the time of the day, for the reason that being there could spare them from much bigger predators down in the ground. There are also species that became land-dwellers like the baboons, who are also carnivorous, which had to situate in open fields. Another interesting ability of apes was the ability to communicate among themselves and build strong ties, which enable them to live in big groups. I also got to learn from one of my professors that according to evolution theories, among the apes, human species chose to have a lower positioning of the larynx so as for the species to be able to create more diverse sound and in the long-run, to enable themselves to speak. Other than the human species, none of the species from the apes chose to have a lower positioning of their larynxes. Instead, they chose to be equipped with a higher position of their larynxes to prevent them from choking.

Monkeys and humans evolution became interdependent between the two species, and also with the current state of their environment. One good example is that monkeys are able to crack nuts or shells with food inside. This was because they lived closely with humans and they turned out to imbibe the practices of human. Of course, monkeys are of less capability compared to us and their degree of learning is of no match to us, for the simple reason that we have bigger brains compared to them; making us more capable of storing data and yearning this data into further advancements. Monkeys also became vital role of the human society because they become pets of the humans, became source of food for some, and even became parts of rituals of some societies.

As per a conclusion, our world is so diverse and is still full of mysteries. What we know as of today may be of huge extent, but I am a hundred percent confident that there is still an enormous body of knowledge that we humans are still not aware. Our technology has allowed us to observe and discover so many things, but I do believe that there other things that will sprung out of nature that will stun us compared to what technology can offer to us. It fascinates me that every now and then that more and more things are being studied and discovered. I do hope that I could still be able to witness the majestic truth that our planet has for us.

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