Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Life of Mammals

by Kendra Lorin                                                                                                                STS X3

The life of mammals is a 10 episode documentary series which shows David Attenborough’s exploration on the evolution and habits of mammals – a group of animals which includes us, humans. The ninth and tenth episode of the series, featuring monkeys and humans, respectively, focuses on the capability of mammals to use their brains in order to survive.

The ninth episode entitled “The Social Climbers” showed how monkeys interact with each other, other animals or better yet, with their surroundings given their larger brains in comparison with other animals. David proved that the larger the brain a monkey have, the more capable it would be that in the last episode, “Food for Thought,” it was shown that some rescued monkeys in Borneo, because of constant interaction with humans, were able to imitate the way humans live. On the other hand, the main focus of the last episode was the consequences this brain may lead the whole world into. With this brain, humans were able to develop technology, however, by sacrificing the nature. This, in turn, had cause the human to develop more technology in order to surpass the hardship that the destruction of the nature might bring upon us. The question, however, is if it is possible that mammals, specifically humans, through the use of their brains, will be able to develop a technology in order to survive when the Earth is no more.

            The documentaries made me compare the two groups of mammals - the monkeys and the humans - on how they both use their brains and hands in order to survive and since it is believed that they have the same origin, making both of them similar in many things. The brain is important in understanding their surroundings and in passing these knowledge to the next generation while the hands are important for them to easily grip on things and make crafts and tools. As we’ve seen in the documentary, monkeys use tools as well to open a shell which contains their food. Surprisingly, monkeys also have a social strata which they use to identify who their leader is. What made humans more advanced than monkeys, however, are their larger brains and upright body, making it more advantageous for them to survive. However, human’s use of their brain seemed to be too much for instead of using it to adopt to environment, humans make the environment adopt for them. This is saddening because we know that the consequences of what we are doing will eventually affect us or worse, the whole world.

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