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In the Shadow of Man
In this paper I am going to discuss how anthropology is a science. I am also going to explain how Jane Goodall is a scientist with her works with chimpanzees, and how that is known as primatology. I will also look at the order primates in correspondence with Jane Goodall’s book on primates, specifically the chimpanzee.
Anthropology is a science; it has four aspects in which you can study. Anthropology takes a look at humankind and with its subdiciplines you can break down individual societies into four parts. Physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology; allows you to break down specific things in a culture, past, present, and to make predictions about thing in the future. Empirical data is also important because the objects that they study are what make anthropology a science.
Anthropology is a social science similar to sociology, psychology, and economics. What they learn and observe is taken from research. For example an archaeologist will search through ancient empirical data and observe what they find, to evaluate and note how one thing relates to another. Anthropology being a science uses the scientific method to evaluate data that they have found or have observed, where in science a hypothesis is created and then somehow a theory is made. In taking a theory it sometimes can be wrong and afterwards will be changed to fit the new standard, which is an ongoing process. This could be known as the scientific process.
In the book, In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall, specifically deals with primatology. Primatology is the study of primates. She studies, observes, and finally is accepted by the chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream, therefore, becomes a primatologist. In doing this she describes how she took notes and recorded her findings and observations throughout her day. Then she tells us how, during endless nights, she would retype her findings to be clearer. She describes these observations in great detail, specifically showing which chimpanzees did what. In one specific case she states how David Graybeard, one of the chimpanzees in her book, is the first of many sightings of the chimpanzees making and using tools. “ …on several occasions they picked small leafy twigs and prepared them for use by stripping off the leaves.” (1, Goodall) Jane Goodall records during one of her first sightings.
After observing and noting specifically how the chimpanzee makes and uses the tool Goodall notices that he also proceeds to modify the tool. Then after awaiting David Graybeard to leave she went to his previous location to look over the data, and even tests the technique for herself and finds it to be very successful. In many other circumstances Goodall gathers data to help further her research. She also includes her first research assistant with the first incidences of dung-swirling. They did this by washing the chimpanzees dung to find out what food they were eating. By doing this they found the seeds or stones of fruit, as she describes them, the chimpanzees ate. This is an example of empirical data because she uses the droppings to the advancement of her research.
Chimpanzees belong to the order primate; they share this order with monkeys, prosimians, apes, and humans. Some examples of the order primate are arboreal conditions, opposable thumb, dentition, omnivorous diet, and the gestation period. As written about in Goodall’s book, the chimpanzees spend a lot of time in the trees, or otherwise known as arboreal way of life. This is one of the many characteristics seen in primates. They do many of their activities in these arboreal conditions. For one they make nests to sleep in on the branches of the trees. They go as far as to find themselves a firm foundation and gather leafy twigs to lie on top of it. Also she records how just before laying down they gather more leafy twigs to place under their head to make them more comfortable.
Also they do a lot of eating in the trees. They must be able to climb up to their food, since most of it is found there. Sometimes going by themselves or sometimes being accompanied by small or even large groups. When in these groups they were seen grooming each other, not only in the trees but on the ground as well. These social grooming sessions are a very large part of the chimpanzee’s lives. It calms them when they are upset, and they also use this as a relaxation technique. By doing this they are bonded together as a small or large group by these social gatherings. By grooming one another they are not removing fleas or ticks, for it is shown that chimpanzees rarely have them, but rather picking off dandruff from the others skin.
As well as having some of these social grooming sessions in the trees they use them as a safety from other more aggressive chimpanzees. Otherwise known as the hierarchy, which is also a part of a chimpanzee’s social order, the larger more aggressively dominant chimpanzees make aggressive displays. Making aggressive displays like this helps them to get higher rankings in the group, as well as to keep the lesser chimpanzees aware of their place in society. Sometimes these more dominant males will attack innocent females and t
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