Two of the most intriguing primates to observe with respect to social interactions, sexual interaction, and the use of their surrounding environment to create tools to have access to different food are orangutans and chimpanzees. This essay will discuss the social behaviors and the way of living in both chimpanzees and organtangus. The social behavior of each these primates do have similarities but also have differences. The main goal shared by both primates is sexual reproduction success, this is an essential part of the primate’s life. Understanding the way primates interact gives a better insight of how they live, but most importantly how they have been able to survive for many years.
Social interaction plays an important role in primates like the orangutans and chimpanzee. The communities of chimpanzees are made up of what is called a fission-fusion mating system, which means the community consists of abundant quantity of females and males. This type of community system of 20 to as much as 120 members depends on the quantity of vegetation available and fertile females. In chimpanzee communities both male and female play a role in leadership, however female don’t consider holding rank to be as important. Males in the other hand focus on achieving the highest rank possible, while females focus in reproductive success. Male chimps maintain their ranking for a long period by creating bonding relationships with other males, which can be done by grooming one another and being highly social with other males in the community. In addition, this allows them to form groups that patrol the community from invaders, especially male chimps from other groups.
Once a female chimpanzee reaches sexaul maturity she will begin to visit other communities. When she decides which community to settle in, she will become a breeder of that community. Male chimpanzees stay in their communities of birth their entire lives. Orangutans prefer living solitary lives. Groups are formed of 3 or 4 due to the distribution of fruit. Female orangutans along with their dependent offspring, spend their time defending the territory in which they occupy from other females. The male orangutans focus their time trying to maintain or gain control of female orangutan territories. Male orangutans do this so that they can gain as many female territories for mating purposes. Male orangutans that aren’t able to obtain control of female orangutans tend to linger around other territories trying to gain access to females, many forcing themselves onto the female orangutans. This behavior pattern centers around young male orangutans because these adolescent male orangutans lack fully developed adult male orangutan features.
Sexual interaction is another important factor for chimpanzee and orangutan communities. Sexual dimorphism amongst male and female chimpanzees isn’t quite noticeable. Male chimpanzees can weigh up to 150 lbs and are only between 10% to 15% larger than the female chimpanzee size. For primates like orangutans, they are extremely sexually dimorphic. Orangutan can be double the size of females and also weigh twice as much. Also, male orangutans grow protruding cheek pads also known as flangs. Both male and female primates have the same goal which is reproductive success, the chance to be able to pass on their genes. In female primates, when wanting to indicate that they are ready for mating they will use sexual signals. One of the signals is sexual swelling, which is the swelling of the genitals. In addition the “rump” of female chimpanzee will change color, fill with fluid and release an odor alert males. For male orangutans, they create a sound called “long calls” with the large sacs found at the bottom of their jaw to keep other male orangutan from trespassing the monopolized female territories that they have acquired, which can be heard almost a mile out.
The invention of tools by primates gives them the advantage to expand their options for food and to customize to their surroundings. Chimpanzees for example use rocks and clubs as hammer to break nuts, straws or blades of grass to gain access to termite nests (Termite Fishing) by inserting the tool in the nest and having the termites pinch onto the tool, then licked off by the chimpanzee, pointy sticks to hunt for bush babies found in the cavity of trees, and the use of large leafs to retain portions of water to drink. Orangutans have tools similar to chimpanzees but use them differently, for example, they use long sticks to scratch their backs, to fight off insects, to reach fruit out of arm length, and to access honey. Also, they use leafy branches to create nest high up in the trees up to 100 feet off the ground, and wear leafy branches like a poncho to cover themselves from the sun or heavy rainfall. Most of theses tools are passed down to younger primates by visual learning, however, the understanding and quick learning depends on hereditary genes of the parents.
There are as many as 350 different kinds of primates to study and learn of in the world but two of the most intriguing primates to observe with respect to social interactions, sexual interaction, and the use of their surrounding environment to have access to different food are orangutans and chimpanzees. Even though we are about 98% similar to orangutans and chimpanzees, the remaining 2% is what makes us very different from them. Socially we are able to communicate by 3 different methods writing, speech and body/ facial expressions. While primates are only able to communicate vocally by creating different sounds of low and high pitch, use of body language and facial expressions. While primates seek mates for reproduction, we humans do too but we not only think about passing on our genes but also with an objective to start a family. As for the tools used by humans compared to that of primates are much more advanced, our technology has allowed us to adapt to new environments, build large and multiple homes, access many different food sources and produce an abundance of food to sustain large populations. We may be more advanced and smarter, but we still retain some of our primitive instincts with the passing of time reminding us that we are still animals too, primates to be exact.