question 1

Baboons are cercopithecine monkeys characterized by extreme behavioral variability. Different species of baboons inhabit different environments and are known to display variations in their reproductive and social behaviors. Gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada), found in the Ethiopian plateau, inhabit the area dominated by grasses and bushes. They are mostly graminivorous, meaning they feed on grasses. The social system of the geladas is characterized by a multilevel organization: unimale groups with philopatric females, several of which form bands, which then unite into large herds. Olive baboons (Papio anubis), on the other hand, are found mostly in open savanna environments throughout tropical Africa, although they inhabit a range of habitats, including mixed savanna/woodlands and tropical forests. Their diet is more variable than what we see among the geladas, and they consume fruit, tubers, leaves, flowers, insects, bird eggs, and occasionally small vertebrates (e.g. small antelope). Olive baboons live in complex multimale-multifemale groups with philopatric females. Based on what you have learned so far about primate behaviors, how would you interpret the observed difference in social behavior between the geladas and olive baboons? In answering the question, make sure to (1) define baboons by providing their taxonomic classification and listing the anatomical and behavioral features you would expect to find in baboons; (2) define each of the social systems listed above and examine their adaptive value in the context of other ecological variables; and (3) speculate why we see differences in the social system between geladas and olive baboons. In the last part of your answer, make sure to address the relationship between social systems, habitat, and predation risk, adaptive significances of living in social groups, and how the content of the groups (number of males and females, dispersal pattern, etc.) could influence the dynamics within each group. Where appropriate, compare/contrast the patterns observed in baboons with other species that inhabit similar environments or show similar social behaviors. Your answer should be factually correct and based on the evidence provided in the readings or lectures. For the information coming from the assigned readings/lectures, you do not have to insert in-text citations and you do not need to include Works Cited section. Examples from the documentaries can be used to illustrate your point, but do not rely on them for the information to shape your argument. You are not required to consult outside sources but, if you do so, make sure the information comes from reliable sources (e.g. Primate InfoNet, peer-reviewed articles and/or edited books) and that it is properly cited. The preferred citation style in biological anthropology is APA; consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) ( for instructions. Alternatively, you can use any other recognizable citation style (MLA, CBE, etc.). Your answer should be about two pages long, double-spaced with 12-point font (60 points).

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