Baboon Metaphysics Essay example

2646 Words Jan 28th, 2011 11 Pages
While reading the book, Baboon Metaphysics, I came to the conclusion that there is more to Baboons than what meets the eye. Cheney and Seyfarth do a wonderful job on exploring the complex and mysterious world of Baboons, focusing in on their social structures, relationships, and even touching on aspects of a possible language. The authors make it clear that baboons have an understanding of bonds, ranks and social networks. I also believe that baboons have a clear and intricate understanding of social networks and hierarchical ranks because of the amount of evidence shown. To begin, I will set out to present the research presented by Cheney and Seyfarth in Baboon Metaphysics concerning baboon social bonds and networks. In the chapter …show more content…
Although we would expect a higher ranking dominant male to experience less stress than a lower ranking subordinate male, this is not the case. According to Cheney and Seyfarth, higher ranking male baboons tend to experience more stress than lower ranking male baboons, especially during rank instability. This is because the dominant male’s power and reproductive control is threatened and he may feel as if it could be taken away. In the next part, I will set out to examine the evidence shown that baboons know of other animal’s dominance ranks, which also has to do with social networks. In baboons, particularly female baboons, rank is not distinguished by one’s size, age, or other physical attributes. Therefore, there has to be something else that allows baboons to know what one’s rank is. When observing female baboons in tasks such as grooming, it is evident that rank plays a role and is recognizable. According to Cheney and Seyfarth’s research, if female baboons are grooming and a dominant female approaches them, the lower-ranking female usually leaves, thus recognizing her own rank and the dominant female’s rank. To prove that females have an intricate understanding of rank in the society, Joan Silk, Cheney and Seyfarth designed an experiment to test their understanding. In the next paragraph, I will go into detail of what

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