lesser apes

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One of the siamang’s most distinctive features is its large gular, or throat, sac.  This sac is found in both males and females, and can be inflated to be as large as the animal’s head.  It serves as a resonating chamber for the siamang’s vocal cords, allowing it to make loud, resonating calls that can be heard over two miles away.  These calls serve an important social function as a form of territorial defense, advertising that a particular location is already owned by a mated pair.

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This is a white handed gibbon family vocalizing. It is a fairly long video so I’ll point out the highlights. 

The first few seconds are very similar to what the gibbons I care for sounds like when they are in their “warm up stage” as I like to call it. Its a series of little whoops that are no where near max volume. 

From 38 seconds-about 1 minute you here a wide range of vocalizations coming from the pair. 

At 2 minutes the video captures a black gibbon in the process of vocalizing, check out how their mouth moves as they produce these sounds. 

Those are the main key vocalization points in this video. You can also see them moving from place to place by swinging very well. This indoor enclosure may not be filled with plants but there are so many different places for them to swing from. 

When you care for gibbons watching this is odd. While these 2 unfamiliar gibbons have a similar family structure and are making similar sounds I am shocked at how different they sound. The gibbons I care definitely have a distinct pattern of vocalizations.

Gibbon conservation is an extremely important task humans must take if we are not to lose the Gibbon. Most sub-species are endangered due to documented loss of their forest habitats.

Gibbons are of the ape family and are commonly known as the lesser apes. This is a distinction from the great apes who are much bigger in size compared to Gibbons.

Re-Blog if you Love the photo =)

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The siamang feeds on a variety of plants, including leaves, vines, twigs, and flowers, supplemented with the occasional insect.  Their favourite by far, however, is fruits.  The Sumatran subspecies in particular feeds primarily on fruits, with 60% of its diet consisting of fruit.  It also has a sweet tooth, preferring sugary fruits such as figs, and much preferring ripe to unripe fruit.  This also gives the siamang a vital role in the forest ecosystem; when it eats fruit, it often swallows the seeds, and expels them in its droppings.  It thus distributes seeds up to 300 metres away from the parent tree, making these primates important seed distributors. 

Also called the smaller apes or lesser apes, gibbons differ from great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and humans) in being smaller, exhibiting low sexual dimorphism, and not making nests. In certain anatomical details, they superficially more closely resemble monkeys than great apes do, but like all apes, gibbons are tailless. Gibbons also display pair-bonding, maintaining the same mate for life, unlike most of the great apes (this has been disputed by Palombit and others, who have found that gibbons might be socially monogamous, with occasional “divorce”, but not sexually monogamous). Gibbons are masters of their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation, swinging from branch to branch for distances up to 15 m (50 ft), at speeds as high as 55 km/h (34 mph). They can also make leaps up to 8 m (26 ft), and walk bipedally with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, nonflying mammals

The Monkey Staff: More Telling Than it Seems?

Alright, I originally had a super long post but I accidentally deleted the draft so here’s a slightly shorter version. (It’s still pretty long though)

So, in Xiaolin Showdown, Jack’s signature Wu is the Monkey Staff. Obviously, in America this basically just showcases his immaturity, comedic nature, and possibly marks him as lesser than the other characters (how often are misbehaved, reckless, and less mature/“evolved” people compared to monkeys? Answer: a lot). However, in the context of Chinese culture, this could have a very different meaning.

Taking into account that Christy Hui was born and raised in China, I’d bet real money that in likening Jack to a monkey, she was drawing a comparison to Sun Wukong (possibly even foreshadowing Jack’s future character arc).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sun Wukong, he is from an old story about the Monkey King. He is a monkey that declares himself 美猴王 and rules over a kingdom of monkeys. An aside, 美猴王 literally translates into “Handsome Monkey King,” but the kanji for “handsome” can also be read as meaning “to be proud of oneself,” referring to his large ego, and the “monkey” kanji also refers to his mischievous nature. Sounding at all like Jack yet?

Anyways, Sun Wukong pretty much starts off wanting to take over and get more powerful. Kind of like a certain evil boy genius that we know. Unlike our boy genius, however, Sun Wukong becomes a powerful demon king, whose deeds are known throughout the land. He fights with a staff that weighs 8.2 tons, and will change size whenever he commands it to. His skill in combat is unquestioned. (Both of these are very interesting details, since not only is Jack’s signature Wu the Monkey Staff, but Jack is also the first to make use of the Changing Chopsticks. Everyone else initially dismisses that Wu as less useful than the others, but Jack finds a way for them to be useful; this ties in neatly with Sun Wukong’s size-changing staff.)

But more than that, Sun Wukong is a troublemaker at heart, and causes all sorts of grief for Heaven. He defies the cycle of reincarnation and the Lords of Death, fights the four Dragon Kings, and makes alliances with other demon kings. The Jade Emperor eventually tries to make Sun Wukong more manageable by giving him a position in Heaven, but makes the mistake of giving him the lowliest job: that of the stable boy. Sun Wukong gets fed up with it all and, after finding out about a feast he was not invited to, steals royal wine, Longevity Pills, and Peaches of Immortality. He fucks off home to plot his rebellion against Heaven and defeats the entire army of Heaven when they try to apprehend him.

Kind of like how when Jack becomes an apprentice at the temple, the monks mistreat him and make him do all their chores, and ends in Jack making off with their Wu. Though obviously Sun Wukong is really extra when he defies Heaven.

The Jade Emperor gets the Buddha’s help to handle the troublesome Monkey King; the Buddha bets Sun Wukong that he cannot escape from his palm. Sun Wukong bounds to the end of the world, where he finds five pillars. He think he’s won the bet, so he signs his name on one of pillars and pisses on it. Too bad for him, the celebration is premature, and the pillars are actually the Buddha’s fingers. The hand closes and Sun Wukong is imprisoned beneath a mountain for five hundred years.

Sun Wukong is finally released after he offers his services to aid a monk going on a pilgrimage to India to retrieve the Buddhist sutras. He accompanies and even befriends the monk, successfully protecting him and completing the journey. Upon his return to China, Sun Wukong is granted Buddhahood and is granted the title “Victorious Fighting Buddha.”

Okay, so maybe there are a few personality similarities between Jack and the Monkey King, and maybe there’s the whole staff thing going on. But what about Sun Wukong’s incredible fighting prowess? What about defeating Heaven’s army? Well, remember there’s that thing that when he uses the Monkey Staff, Jack becomes a far better fighter and is nearly impossible for the monks to defeat.

Jack, his monkey army, his staff… kind of makes me wonder… plus there’s the bad future where Jack takes over the world and even defeats Chase, a 1500 year old demigod figure. Almost reminiscent of successfully fighting and defeating Dragon Kings and literal gods, or at least, as close of a parallel as you can get in Showdown…

And what about all the trouble he caused for everyone in the Showdown world? Despite being just a mortal kid without magic at his disposal, Jack’s also remarkably resilient, and still manages a victory once in a while. Heck, if nothing else, he’s able to mobilize every other antagonist from the series to go after the monks. That itself is no small feat. If you tilt your head and squint a bit, you can kind of see Sun Wukong making alliances with other demon kings… sort of

And moreover, the tale of the Monkey King can be traced back to old stories about white Gibbons from southern China.

Let me repeat that.

The story’s origin is legends of Gibbons, which were revered in China, especially those whose coloration was white. Gibbons were popular subjects of paintings, and were thought to be able to live for hundreds of years and turn into humans. Despite the fact that they are tailless, and classified as lesser apes rather than as monkeys, as the story developed into that of the Sun Wukong, it lost its original primate subjects and instead starred tailed monkeys.

But what an interesting origin… primates (esp those of white coloration) that were native to southern China and supposedly could turn into humans… Definitely brings Jack and the Monkey Staff to mind.

So that leaves me with a fundamental question: why? Why compare Jack Spicer to the Monkey King, and what does that mean about the direction his character was supposed to go in?

As far as I can tell, there were two main paths it could’ve been setting up for him to take. One is that Jack gained power and prestige, becoming a king in his own rights. I somehow can’t see this happening. What with his severe villain decay from the beginning to the end of the show, I think Jack would’ve taken the second route. Jack may have suffered villain decay, but that opened up the possibility for embarking on a hero’s journey.

We’ve already seen how much Omi believes in Jack’s goodness. In fact, several characters have remarked how Jack isn’t really that evil, just annoying. Most notably, we have Hannibal on record saying that Jack is only a generation away from being good, which is pretty 👀👀👀 even considering that Bean is taunting Jack. From what we’ve seen, Bean is a competent villain and a good judge of character. Ultimately, I’m convinced that Jack was actually meant to join the Xiaolin, and I actually think it would’ve been great all around.

Now, I love Jack as a villain, really, I do, but if Jack were to stop being forced into the role of comedy relief, something would have had to change. And maybe that something could have been Jack Spicer: Dragon of Metal.

It would definitely have made for some good character exploration and development for the monks, too. They’d have had to reassess how they see not only Jack but all the people they fight. It’d force them to confront their morally grey actions and realize that Jack’s a person, a kid like them, and that maybe they sometimes were too harsh in their treatment of him.

Also, we could’ve gotten a whole lot of fun interactions as everyone tried to get used to Jack being one of them now.

And this would still be totally in line with the story of Sun Wukong; he’d start off as a troublemaker, then be forced to grudgingly help a monk and end up befriending him (in this case probably Omi). For Jack, becoming the Dragon of Metal would have been like attaining Buddhahood was for Sun Wukong. He didn’t set out to do that, he didn’t want it per se, but somehow he ended up hanging with the right crowd and became Good.

Also I just really, really want Jack to be happy and have friends.

But unfortunately, this is just speculation about what could have been, and I’m not even sure how right it is. Hope you enjoyed reading anyways.

anonymous asked:

If there are a million apes and there are a million people, where is the million in between that to present us the theory of evolution?

You have a flawed understanding of how evolution works. Man did not evolve from modern apes. Man and modern apes share a common ancestor, which is extinct.

I don’t know how to answer because it is based on a fallacy. But I don’t think you are really interested anyways.These messages are a result of me challenging simplyheavenlyfood to a debate and her avoiding me because she knows she is way out of her league.

The evolution of our species from an ape-like Miocene ancestor was a complex process. Our lineage is full of side branches and evolutionary dead ends, with species like the robust australopiths that persisted for over a million years before fading away.

“In between” is the wrong terminology. Evolution is not a straight line. It has many branches just like a tree.

Darwin’s great insight, and the unifying principle of biology today, is that all species are related to one another like sisters, cousins, and distant kin in a vast family tree of life. The implications are breathtaking; if we could travel back far enough in time, we would find common ancestors between ourselves and every other living organism, from porcupines to flamingoes to cactuses. Our immediate evolutionary family is comprised of the hominoids, the group of primates that includes the “lesser apes” (siamangs and gibbons) as well as the “great apes” (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans). Among the great apes, our closest relatives are the chimpanzees and bonobos. The fossil record, along with studies of human and ape DNA, indicate that humans shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos sometime around 6 million years ago.

Sources: Herman Pontzer (Dept. of Anthropology, Hunter College; New York Consortium for Evolutionary Primatology) © 2012 Nature Education
Citation: Pontzer, H. (2012) Overview of Hominin Evolution. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):8, me :)

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Siamangs also have intense family bonds, and make unusually good fathers.  While the females care for their infants for the first few months of life, once the baby is weaned the primary care falls on the father.  He will carry the infant until it can travel independently, when it reaches the age of about three years.  The mother will only take the baby back to nurse it or while they sleep.  

Young siamangs will stay with their parents until they are about seven or eight years old, helping to raise their younger siblings.  Siamangs thus live in tight-knit family groups, similar to wolf packs.  

“The Great Apes”…What About “The Lesser Apes”

There are 18 apes on earth, all of which appear on the IUCN Red List.

I asked a friend to list these 18 apes but all they could say were:

Mountain Gorilla, Western Gorilla, Orangutan, Chimpanzee (and I even had to give them a hint leading to the name Bonobo). All of these are Great Apes, but what about the “Lesser Apes” or “The Forgotten Apes”?

Did you know that the most endangered primate is neither the gorilla nor the orang-utan? It is in fact a species of Gibbon.

The Hainan Gibbon lives on Hainan Island, of China. The Hainan Gibbon, believed to be a Black Crested Gibbon now separated from its brothers on the bordered of China and Vietnam, is considered by some to be one of, or THE most endangered ape.

On the island there are 20 of these gibbons. Not 2000, not 200, but 20. I don’t know about you but that seems a little scary.

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(Photos of protests held on Thursday over the death of Eric Garner at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, Foley Square in New York City, on a highway in Minneapolis, MN and in Washington DC by Erik Lesser / EPA, Jaso DeCrow / AP, Richard Tsong-Taatarii / AP, and Paul J. Richards / Getty Images via the New York Daily News)