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INTRODUCTION: This assignment is designed to help you learn more about and
observe in real time some of the primates we have studied in our course, in this
case the chimpanzee. Besides your zoo visit, your final written report should
reflect thoughtful consideration of the assigned readings. The report will be based
on a description of the events in the chimp enclosure over period of 45 minutes
(minimum). Judge your time wisely and make sure to follow all the directions
presented below here. A total of 15 points may be earned IF you follow all
directions and present a well-prepared report (with ticket attached) by the
A. GRADING: Points will be awarded according to how your report covers the
1. Describe enclosure and compare it to chimp natural habitat 3 points
2. Identify individual chimps as Adult Male-1; Adult Female-1; Juvenile Male-
1; Juvenile Female-1, etc. [If this is difficult, try another way to identify the
subject of your comments.] Describe at least one interaction/behavior, anything
from fast moving to just “lounging together” while grooming, etc. 5 points
3. Integrate key ideas from assigned readings* and clearly relate them to these
L.A. Zoo chimps. 5 points
4. Organize, proof read, and include a “mug shot” with admission ticket
* Required readings:
a. Review Ch. 7 (pp.167-68) and Ch. 8 (pp.180-89) for info on the primates,
in this case the chimpanzee
b. Read “The 2% Difference,” in ANNUAL EDITIONS: Physical
Anthropology 08/09 edition. See also in Discover Magazine, April 2006;
available on-line at http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/chimp-
ANNUAL EDITIONS (08/09)reference to the attendant. Make sure to read these selections before you go to the
B. KEEP IN MIND: When you walk up to any animal enclosure, the behavior
may appear to be erratic or random; maybe “nothing” is happening. However,
much of the behavior is patterned in response to a stimulus not necessarily evident
to us. Be patient. The best you can do is to carefully & accurately describe their
physical activity & note its context at the time. There is no magic bullet! Do your
The Enclosure. If you include photos, do provide SHORT CAPTIONS. If you are
artistic, make a sketch of the enclosure and include it with your report. While there
is no ironclad page count for this project, please do not use pictures & drawings as
fillers! Your thoughts are paramount.
C. DRAFTING YOUR REPORT: After you have completed your observations,
go aside and carefully read over your notes. Are there any notable behavior
patterns, anything that indicates relationships, friendships, or pecking order? You
should draw on the physical characteristics of the chimpanzee provided in Ch. 8.
Integrate key information from the other required readings. Omit it and you will
lose points. Don’t fret; a good faith effort is what counts here.
D. ORGANIZING YOUR REPORT: A good report will be well organized
around the “Grading” topics. About four to five pages (double spaced) is
acceptable. This does NOT include your cover page, any photos, charts or maps.
Use one-inch margins and avoid “padding” with empty spaces between sections or
paragraphs. Most of all, sincere work and a true learning experience is what we
are after here. Your instructor’s “eagle eye” can spot the proverbial fluff and “b.s.”
Do a good job and shine!
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