DER Documentary


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From the Primates series
by Anne Zeller
color, 53 min, 2008

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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This video presents an overview of the genus Macaca, beginning with a discussion of their place in the primate order and their adaptability. This potential for eating a wide variety of foods and living in both temperate and tropical environments at a variety of altitudes means they are very similar to humans in their ability to exploit a range of habitats.

After the introduction by Professor Zeller, the video covers 6 species of the approximately 18 types of macaques. The groups chosen range from the only Euro/African species (Macaca sylvanus, the Barbary macaque) at the west end of their range to the Japanese macaques at the eastern edge. The common rhesus and long-tailed macaques are included who range very widely across South-east Asia and these are contrasted with 2 species endemic to the island of Sulawasi in Indonesia. One of these is a new species discovered in the 1990's on the southern Sulawasi Island of Buton, (Macaca Brunescens) and the other is the rarely seen Macaca (Cynopithecus) nigra, one of the larger forms. Material on sexual dimorphism, locomotion, male-female relations, infant care, diet, group social patterns, grooming and communication is covered for each group, pointing out the differences and similarities between the species. Footage from free ranging and captive situations is used and the impact of captivity on behaviour is mentioned.

This video is useful as an introduction to the genus, as well as providing data for a more complex analysis of behavioral comparisons which might be undertaken by more senior students. One particular area of comparison is the handling of objects by a variety of species and the potential functions of stick and stone use. Commentary about conservation issues and the impact of humans on the animals is also included.

Other films in the series:
Chimpanzees Today
Five Species
Images From The Field: Baboons
Introduction to the Primates
Lemurs of Madagascar
New World Monkeys
Primate / Human Interaction
Primate Patterns II
Sifakas of Madagascar
What Do Primatologists Do?

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