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Monitoring an Organism Essay Sample

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Monitoring an Organism Essay Sample

Habitat is lost due to the clearing of tropical forest for agriculture, logging, and the collection of fuel wood. This continues to be a major effect on primates, along with the capture of primates for Bushmeat trade. Bushmeat species include Gorillas, and other primates. Hunting for subsistence also is a major and insidious threat, this mostly happens in Africa and Asia. Tropical forest covers a large area, so sadly we cannot stop all hunting from happening to the extinct primates.

Mankind is continuing to destroy the natural habitat in many countries and it is still happening today. Without immediate steps to protect these unique creatures and their habitat, we will lose more of our planet’s natural heritage forever. In order to help the primates we can set up breeding programs in zoos to encourage population number to grow.

A large part of primates behaviours are learnt by closely monitoring them. Therefore, if more time is given to monitor them then it means we know more about the captured primate in the zoo. If we monitor the primates every am and pm till the whole year then we would certainly find out the condition and environment they want to live in. I am going to monitor the three main Primates, and they are Chimpanzee, Bonobos and Gorillas.

The reason I am monitoring living organisms is to develop and to understand of my primate behaviours. It is vital that we keep the captured primates in the same condition and environment as they would be living in the wild so that they can be easily be reintroduced in the wild. This will also give them a chance to be comfortable mating other primates so that they produce more offspring, keeping the population of primates from extinction. And as well as making the zoo keepers realise that they are keeping the primate in the same condition as it would be in the wild, so the primates doesn’t have to suffer.

In order to carry out this coursework accurately about the primates, I have chosen a small set of easily identifiable behaviours which are playing, eating, grooming, aggression and sleeping. The reason I have chosen the small set of identifiable behaviours because we will only have one day to monitor them and therefore as we will have less time to just monitor small sets of behaviours. We as a student cannot monitor the primates as we don’t have permission to stay there for more than one day. However if we have decided to stay and monitor the primate for longer than one day then we could have had monitored them properly and would have accurate behaviour results.

Finding more about the primates can lead us to know how we are developed. This is because primates are the closet relative to us. We have developed from primates.

Primates like Gorillas share about 97-98 percent of human DNA and are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species. Chimpanzees however share most of the human DNA. On the other hand, Bonobos are the closest relative for human’s beings; they share massively 98.4% of human DNA.

The Chimpanzee is mostly black with a short white beard. The chimp has large ears and small nostrils. Chimpanzees can get up to 3 feet in length and can weigh up to 175. Males are slightly larger than females.Chimpanzees live in forests, woodland, and the savanna. They are omnivores and eat fruits, leaves, seed, flowers, insects, birds, mammals and bark. Feeding is an individual thing. Chimps live in communities of 16-120. They are awake during the day and sleep at night in a freshly built nest. Their nest is built freshly every night because they travel so much. Mating is non-seasonal. After a period of about 9 months 1 young is born. In the zoo chimpanzee do not have to make their nest every night and as well as they don’t travel a lot because they have been kept in a very small area. This tells me that it will change their natural behaviours and it would be too difficult for them to go back to the wild life.

Gorillas are the largest of the primates. They can reach up to 6 feet tall and weigh 600lb. They are thought of being ferocious and aggressive beast in the wild, however they are not always aggressive and ferocious because they are very shy and are peace lovers. Gorilla’s have black fur on the body and is hairless on the face. They have very big nostrils and lips that pucker out. Gorillas live in rain forests or places where there are a lot of trees. Gorillas communicate by huffing, coughing, hiccupping, burping and beating on the chest. The female’s gorillas and young sleep at night up in the trees while the male stays down below to protect its family. While active during the day, gorillas spend most of their day foraging food. Gorillas live in groups of 5- 30 members. They eat assorted leaves, stems, roots and rarely insects and bird eggs. After a period of nine months a single young is born.

Bonobos are endangered, and are found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along with common chimpanzees, Bonobos are Humans’ closest living relatives. Sexual intercourse plays a major role in Bonobo society. Bonobos were thought to be the only non-human apes to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities like for example face-to-face genital sex (most of the time female-female, then male-female and male-male), tongue kissing, and oral sex. On the other hand Gorillas as well have been observed to engage in face-to-face sex. In bonobos society sexual activity happens within the immediate family as well as outside the family, and often it involves adults and children, even infants.

Bonobo reproductive rates are not any higher than the Common Chimpanzee. Female Bonobos carry and nurse their young for five years and can give birth every five to six years. Compared to Common Chimpanzees, Bonobo females resume the genital swelling cycle much sooner after giving birth, allowing them to rejoin the sexual activities of their society. Also, Bonobo females who are either sterile or too young to reproduce still engage in sexual activity. Around 10,000 Bonobos are found only south of the Congo River and north of the Kasai River. They are an endangered species, due to both habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat. Today, at most several thousand Bonobos remain. This is part of a more general trend of ape extinction. Bonobos are active from dawn to dusk and live in a social group; a tribe of about a hundred will split into small groups during the day while looking for food, and then come back together to sleep. They sleep on trees in nests they construct.

Therefore we are doing this coursework to help them survive. We are monitoring their behaviours to help them survive in the zoo and in the wild. The zoo keepers need to know how to keep them the same in both conditions, in the zoo and in the wild. We need to keep their natural behaviours same in case if they have been put back in their natural habitat.


1. I will monitor the primates at the Twycross Zoo.

2. The primates I will be monitoring will the chimpanzees; however there will be two other primates that will be monitored as well, bonobos and gorilla.

3. There will be 36 students altogether from 3 different classes chosen to do the experiment, there will be 12 students from each class so it will be divided by 3 from 36 students. In each group there will be 12 students monitoring 3 different primates for their class. 12 students will be divided into 3 groups to monitor chimpanzee, gorilla and bonobos. (36 students= 3 groups, 1 group= 12 students, 12 students= 3 primates, 1 primate= 4 students monitoring.)

4. The behaviours that I will be monitoring will be playing alone, playing with others, aggressive, grooming, eating and sleeping. It is important that I will monitor chimpanzees and stay focused on the grooming behaviours because that’s the most important as it will help us to indentify how important for the chimpanzees to produce offspring. However I need to stay focused on the other behaviours as well.

5. First of all I need to write down the weather condition and then I will monitor them for two hours, one hour in morning and one in afternoon.

6. In morning we will miss out the part where the Zoo keepers feed them because we will arrive late at the Zoo. I will need to ask the zoo keeper about what they gave them for food.

7. I will also concentrate their behaviours toward the other primates.


From the results I have collected I can see that chimpanzee spent more time on eating during the morning and afternoon compare to the other primates that were monitored. They played alone much more than other two primates compare to my results from other students. The chimpanzees were the most aggressive primates because there were two adult males where they didn’t get along with each other. The adult male chimpanzees were aggressive because they always compete to get the leaders position as they get to have the female in control. In the wild however they would do the same thing so what I think about the chimpanzees behaviour is the same as they belong to the wild life. Another reason for them to be more aggressive than other two different primates is because the lack of space they were in. The spaces around them were awfully small for 2 or 3 chimpanzees. In the wild they would have the whole forest so they are used to live in a big area. Living in a small area can be very frustrating for them with nothing to do.

In the wild they live in a place surrounded by trees and fresh air with no manmade objects around them. They also travel a lot and make a new nest every day. Because they live in a small amount of space with four walls facing them it can make them go crazy as they don’t have anything to do. It is like living in a jail for them. If they were put back in the wild they would not travel that much and would find it very difficult to live in a big group. This is because by living in a zoo they are used to being lazy doing nothing all day. Consequently chimpanzees were more active during morning and afternoon.

To get even more accurate results on the chimpanzee I can monitor them while they are outside the Chimp house. I would definitely get different results than I had it before. The only thing was left to do was to monitor them at night time. I think that they would behave completely different during the night time than on the day time. If I have monitored them at night then my results would be complete.

Bonobos are generally quite peaceful primates and therefore my results shows that it has less aggressiveness compare to the chimpanzee. In fact bonobos are completely opposite to the chimpanzees. In the Zoo bonobo’s have similar aggressive behaviours as they would have it in the wild. Bonobos however does not have to be that aggressive to have a sexual attraction for the females because in the bonobo community they have sexual attraction with any gender; their sexual behaviour is not just male to female. It’s also female-to-female and male-to-male and male-to-juvenile. Therefore the result shows that it has less aggressive behaviour because they don’t have to fight with other male. They seem to resolve a lot of their conflicts with sexual behaviour. Bonobo has spent a lot of time grooming in the afternoon than in the morning. The reason is because it was warm and they were inside so they would have more comfortable and warm condition.

Because the gorillas spend most of the time foraging food they might not have time for being aggressive or to play with others. It is the younger gorilla who plays a lot with others most of the time. In the Zoo there were only adult gorillas. The result that I have got from another student shows that it has three different types of behaviour that has not been monitored. Therefore it has been left blank with no results in it. This is because they did not see any behaviour of them playing with others, aggressive and grooming. I know that gorillas are very gentle primates therefore the students who had been collecting the result did not have anything to write down. The result shows that it has no aggressive behaviour. The reason is because; first of all there were 1 male and 2 female therefore the male doesn’t have to fight for the grooming. The second reason is because there are no dangers around them therefore they don’t have to be aggressive to keep the danger away. In the wild they are very peaceful primates but if they see any danger around them then they would get very aggressive, however they don’t have any danger in the Zoo therefore the student who had collected the results did not see any aggressive behaviours. The gorillas were the only primate in the Twycross zoo who didn’t do anything during the day. I think it is because of their age, all three gorillas were 40 years over.

To improve my results I can monitor other two primates by myself instead of having the results from other students. This is because not everyone has the same knowledge and understanding of the primates as I do. I can do this by monitoring each primate in 3 days, 1 day for each primate. If I did have permission to monitor them for three days then I would definitely 100% accurate results.

The evaluation

The reason we didn’t have accurate results is because the weather condition was very cold.

The weather condition would have got the effects on the primates. As all three different primate lives in a place where there’s always hot. The primates might not have liked the weather condition therefore they would not do certain behaviours. In order to get the best results as possible we need to go and do the experiment on the summer time.

I might not have got the accurate results because of my team got distracted by other fascinating primates. This way I think that I have lost some of the result and didn’t have as much result as I should get. To improve my results I can tell my friends not to distract me and tell them that it is important that we monitor them as we have to help them to keep them alive and to keep them from getting extinction.

The time that were given to monitor the primates were too less. We cannot monitor them in just 2 hours. The other thing I found difficult during the experiment was that in fact we had to stand there and monitor gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. This would make us not concentrate during the whole hour therefore it made me tired and soon I lost interest doing my experiment and started wondering off. It was hard for me to get back to my experiment. It was a bit boring doing the experiment because of the condition around me. Instead of monitoring them for two hours I need to monitor them through the whole morning and the afternoon instead of having to monitor them 1 hour in morning and 1 hour in afternoon

The primates might be aggressive, playing, grooming etc in number of ways which we cannot see therefore we might have missed out the behaviours of the primates. This is because we were not professionals at spotting their behaviours. As well as we didn’t learn anything about the species that we were monitoring, however we did have some knowledge but not enough, to improve this we can look closely and learn more about their behaviours and their natural habitat then we need to go and do the experiment.

I was too excited to see other animals therefore I did not concentrate very well. As well my friends were distracting me by talking about how great the other animals are and those they are too excited to see it as well, so this put me off my experiment.

If I have had a chance to do this experiment once again then I would definitely have 100% accurate results. This is because now I have learnt a lot more things about the primates. The way they behave will be very easy for me to monitor them, this way I would get the accurate results. And as well as I need to do the whole experiment by my own because I know that I can do better than my friends or my team mates. The experiment can be affected because if we are in the same group monitoring only one type of primate then we can lose some primates activity.

To get the best of best results ever we can tape record the primates during the whole day and then watch them using the TV. This also saves our time to visit them personally. If we get distracted by our mates then this is the perfect solution to get it right because we can rewind the tape and watch it over again. As well as it will give us even more time to do our science course work. Instead of wasting the whole day only for 2 hours of monitoring primates we can just watch the professional recorded tape. This would solve most of our problems just like that. This would give all of us a chance to see what is happening during the primate behaviours because some of us did not get to go to visit the Twycross Zoo. This would be fair on the other students as well.

Because of the weather condition in U.K is different we can go and do our experiment on the summer time rather than in the winter time. To find out the best result we can also go to another country or have a recorded video tape where there’s same weather condition as it would be it in the wild. But due to our age we cannot do that. We can also ask the other zoo’s that’s in the same country where the primate lives and ask them what do to keep them the same as they would be in the wild. Therefore we can do the same thing as they do in the zoo in another country.

Overall I had found the experiment a bit easy because I knew what to do and how to keep myself focused on the primates. I have followed my plan successfully. Although I can still make it even more accurate if i had another chance to do the experiment again.

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