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The Western Lowland Gorilla A comparison with humans and a critique of methods of study By Fokren Masters For thousands of years men and women have strived to explain the why of their existence To discover the reasons for how we act the way we do and what this knowledge can do to impact the way we live our lives in this complex society that we have created One of the ways that science has begun to shed light on the inner workings of the human condition is through Primatology Built from the words Primate which refers to a group of animals closely related to humans and logos which is a Greek word meaning the study of Primatologys goals include more than simply to amass data on the primate species Rather a Primatologist observes data about primates in an effort to understand the primate species under their study and to relate that data back to the human condition so that we can learn more about ourselves through our evolutionary cousins In recent years Primatologists have done much research on all aspects of the life of the western lowland Gorilla known scientifically as gorilla gorilla gorilla Fay 1989 In this paper I will compare these primates more precisely classified as great apes to humans in an attempt to illuminate both differences and similarities between the two species More specifically I will focus on the social structure of the western lowland Gorilla describing how these predominantly gentle creatures live in a society similar to that of humans in many ways Finally in my conclusion I will explore the methods that Primatologists use to study primates such as the western lowland Gorilla and whether those methods are biased towards or against the Gorillas However I cannot draw indelible conclusions about these subjects as I have had no time studying these animals in the field and
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