Testing the Theory of Evolution by Observing Two Primates in a Zoo

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Primates can be described as omnivorous mammals which are further divided into three sub-categories namely: Anthropoidea, which is the category consisting of human beings, gibbons, great apes, old and new world monkeys. The other category is Prosimii, which consists of Loris, lemurs, and their allies. There is a final category called Tarsioidea which consists of those mammals that can use hands and processes complex behavior that portray high level of cultural adaptability and social interaction. This paper seeks to compare two compare two Anthropoidea primates using observed data and analyze their characteristics so as to determine the possibility of evolution and natural selection.

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The two primates observed in this case are from the Anthropoidea sub-category of primate which consists of higher order primates with the highest rank going to humans. The primates are the Howler monkey and a Gorilla both of which share many characteristics as observed in the zoo. The whole process took approximately two hours and hence the characteristics recorded are just those observable within such a short duration.

Starting with their natural behavior and social life, both species just like humans, are seen to value communal approach towards life, living in groups of several females and a few males and children. This is just like the family structure among the humans which is meant to give a sense of belonging and responsibility. Their young ones are tolerated and protected by all members of the group with or without the presence of the mothers, to the extent that an abandoned infant can be adopted and nurtured until weaning. This displays a complex and highly evolved behavior naturally associated with humans.

The two primates also, just like humans, are omnivorous creature are will mostly eat plants and herbs but will also proceed to eat animals like birds and rats to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. The only difference is that they take raw food as opposed to humans since they have not yet adopted the concept of using fire. Their communication method is also not as effective as the human language since they use roars and growls with can barely be understood in most instances.

On the other hand, the primates also differ in the facts that for Howler monkey, mothers dont show much interest to the child unless the child is in danger but the Gorilla is seen to care about its child more than anything else. This, however, doesnt put the evolution and natural selection theories in a bad light since even among humans, there are both caring and negligent parents towards their children. Finally, according to the observation in the zoo, primates like their freedom which they obviously dont get in the zoo and hence our observed test subjects were a little bit laidback and didnt display their full traits since they despise captivity.


According to this paper, the theory of evolution is put to the test by observing two primates in a zoo and comparing their characteristics with those of human beings who are the ultimate primates. This is done with the aim of finding possible shared characteristics which would proof the possible existence of natural selection among primates leading to their continuous evolution. The paper out-lightly shows that primates have many shared characteristics and hence natural selection is highly probably theory.

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