Physical Anthropology Trip to the Zoo

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Visiting the Zoo


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On October 11th, 30 students enrolled in Dr. Chris Lynn’s Physical Anthropology seminars caravanned up the freeway to the Birmingham Zoo. We attended a private tour of the primate facility, which was lead by a trained zoologist. She shared with us information about each species, as well as funny anecdotes relating to individual animals.

The zoologist also shared with us current conservation efforts to reduce deforestation, poaching, and primates as pets. She also encouraged us to support companies that no longer use palm-oil. A helpful app exists to help you know what companies to shop for, called the Palm Oil Crisis.

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The students were attentive and engaged during the presentation, and seemed to have a great time learning about the animals. They each completed a focal observation of an animal, in which they scanned each 60 seconds and recorded changes in behavior.

Below are the species they evaluated.

Angolan Black and White Colobus Monkeys


Black-Handed Spider Monkey


De Brazza’s Monkey




Sumatran Orangutan


Photographs from Birmingham Zoo

My personal favorite was the Orangutan, by far (as evidenced by my multiple photographs taken in the exhibit.)

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3 thoughts on “Physical Anthropology Trip to the Zoo

  1. Too bad you couldn’t fly them all out to San Diego to visit the World Famous San Diego Zoo, but it looks like Birmingham has plenty of species to observe. Will anyone be making comparisons between the different species based on the observations? Will there be any theories or conclusions about each species social structure?

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