Sunday, May 11, 2014

UYEHARA - Life of Mammals: "The Social Climbers" and 'Food for Thought"

The Social Climbers feature different groups of monkeys and apes. What is special with all the groups is that they are intelligent beings; they have the capacity to learn, to communicate and to socialize. For example, a certain group of monkeys have a hard time to crack clams open but by experience and by sharing these experiences to the group, not one but the entire group discovers how to do a task efficiently. Each group species of monkeys have their own unique calls which they use to communicate within their own group but there are also certain calls that enable a group to communicate to another group of monkeys. These common calls enable different groups to help each other for instance when a greater predator comes to prey on them. Most importantly, monkeys and apes form a society within their group. For instance, a certain species put importance to high-born families of monkeys; high-born monkeys have more rights than low-born monkeys and could do anything they want to do. A certain family of Chimpanzees had also formed rival groups which either fight or help each other depending on situations.

Food for thought suitably follows after Social Climbers and introduces the documentary with rescued orangutans. These orangutans lived by imitating humans. They use improvised tools to do a task. Chimpanzees were also introduced. A certain family of Chimpanzees had formed rival groups which either fight or help each other depending on situations. These chimpanzees have a non-physical way of showing how to govern and gain friendship in their groups. They have created a very strong culture that couldn’t be seen in other mammals. The documentary proceeded in how man has evolved from hunting to herding and then got satisfied through cultivating. Because of the evolution of human life, rituals began to start. Technology and civilizations were born. The Mayan civilization was also mentioned because at a point, it died. The modern world is being compared to this civilization and is being warned that it might also reach the same fate if the environment is not taken into account.

These two parts of the Life of Mammals documentary are also the last two parts of the series. It suits the ending of Life of Mammals well because documentaries featured monkeys, apes and humans which are the most intellectual mammals. What is interesting is that the peak of the life of these mammals is socializing. Before watching the documentary, I only knew that monkeys and apes were intelligent creatures but not so much so that a strong culture is already formed. The societies formed by monkeys and apes are a good comparison to our society even in the modern time. Their societies contain the basic societal needs which are very similar to our human societal needs. What is also interesting is that the documentary finished open-endedly. The mammalian life and most especially the human life is unpredictable; what happens to us in the end? What do we do to keep our life going?

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