I deeply enjoyed our trip to the Greensboro Science Center today. It was interesting to notice and feel the difference between the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro and the Greensboro Science Center. I enjoyed the Science Center more- because of the more intimate feel. Despite the Science Center functioning on a smaller level than the North Carolina Zoo- we saw a shockingly diverse set of primates. Javan gibbons, Ring-tailed lemurs, Red ruffed lemurs, Mongoose lemurs, and Black howler monkeys. The lemurs might have been my favorite to observe. Because there were three different species in one enclosure- it provided me with a greater opportunity to compare and see whether rank comes into play with species. We were able to see how well lemurs can blend in with their surroundings- it took us a while to spot the Mongoose lemurs. They slept during most of our time while the Ring-tailed lemurs spent the most time actively climbing, playing, and exploring. The Red ruffed lemur for the first half of our time at the lemur exhibit. About 10 minutes in, he or she jumped down from the perch onto a log that was a Ring-tailed lemur was situated on. When the Red Ruffed lemur climbing down onto the long- I realized just how big it was. The Ring-tailed lemur realized the Red Ruffed lemur had climbed onto the end of the log- and quickly scurried away into the barrel hanging from the ceiling. The Red ruffed lemur comfortably situated itself in the Ring-tailed lemurs place. I wondered to myself whether this was a power display- the Red ruffed lemur seemed more dominant than the Ring-tailed. I watched for any subsequent displays but found none- the Red ruffed lemur was didn’t move from its spot once acquired. This was the only dominant behavior I really saw while at the zoo- which surprised me. The Javan Gibbons were very docile and we saw a variety of grooming behavior between the two adults. We also saw grooming among the Ring-tailed lemurs. The Howler monkeys were curious about everything when we observed. It was interesting to see the different demeanors and interactions between pairs.
I also very much enjoyed watching the Javan Gibbons playing with their young infant. The family of three sat on a ledge in their enclosure. I assume the mother was on the top ledge and the father was on the ledge just below her (I was not able to distinguish mother and father). But the infant sat on the top ledge- eager to play with the two ropes above their heads. The infant jumped up and swung back and forth- from mother to father. The father (I assume) reached out halfheartedly towards the infant when he seemed to want to return to the ledge. The mother (I assume) had a habit of sticking her hand out and rapping the father when the father made a halfhearted attempt. The infant always swung back to the top ledge and returned to the group up by the mother (I assume). I really wish I had been able to distinguish mother from father during this moment! If the mother was on the top ledge, the situation would say a lot about mother-juvenile relationships and father-juvenile relationships. If anything, the situation was great to watch.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at the Science Center. I enjoyed the casual observations- I didn’t need to quickly scribble down every movement like during the gorilla observations. These observations were much looser and I was able to discern interesting moments based on my interest.