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University Level Course Syllabi

PRIMATE BEHAVIOR (Anthropology 323K--Introductory Level)
Claud A. Bramblett, University of Texas


PRIMATE BEHAVIOR (Anthropology 323K--Introductory Level)
      
      	Course instructor:
      	CLAUD A. BRAMBLETT
      	Anthropology
      	University of Texas
      	Austin, TX 78712 USA
      
      	Phone: 512 471-0054
      	Fax: 512 471-6535
      	email: cbramblett@mail.utexas.edu
      
      Primate Behavior (The University of Texas, Austin)
      
      Instructors: 
      Claud Bramblett
      Phone 512-471-0054
      Email cbramblett@mail.utexas.edu
      
      Deborah Overdorff
      Phone 512-471-7532
      Email: overdorff@mail.utexas.edu
      
      Mail:
      Department of Anthropology
      University of Texas
      Austin, TX 78712
      
      BACKGROUND:
      
      This class is a junior/senior introductory class in primate behavior. 
      It tries to emphasize organismal biology of primates and it is intended
      both as a starting point for further coursework in primate behavior and as
      a survey course for nonscience students. This class consists of two hours
      of lecture and two hours of lab each week. The experience of
      systematically watching a complex primate society pays large dividends in
      insight. Success at documenting what is seen requires both diligence and
      discipline. The purposes of the lab are: 
      (1) to promote an understanding of science as a process
      (2) to gain a comparative perspective about biology by systematically 
      studying a nonhuman species
      (3) to learn about nonhuman primates
      (4) to increase experience with skills used in research
      (5) to stimulate further interest in biological topics
      (6) to have fun.
      
      Enrollment is about 60 students per semester, a limit imposed by the
      logistics of the lab assignment. Students reflect the diversity of
      backgrounds and majors typical of a college campus.
      
      Anthropology 323k is cross listed as Women's Studies 323. It counts as a
      science course for Liberal Arts majors. The class is offered every
      semester. Overdorff and Bramblett alternate as instructor. The current
      teaching assistant in charge of the laboratory is Steig Johnson .
      
      LAB SYLLABUS:
      
      PRIMATE BEHAVIOR LAB SYLLABUS (prepared by Beth Erhart)
      
      The Animal Resource Center (ARC) is located on Speedway, 1 block 
      North of 26th street. 
      
      Lab times Labs are from 1-3 pm T, W, Th, and F in ARC 2.172. Enter the
      ARC through the front door on Speedway. Check in at the reception desk,
      make sure you have a photo ID ready.
      
      Purpose: The lab section of Primate Behavior 323K is designed to
      familiarize the student with observation methods and data collection
      techniques utilized in the study of animal behavior. 
      
      REQUIREMENTS:
      
      Parallel Test: You are required to familiarize yourself with the
      monkeys at the ARC and with the behaviors they perform. When you feel
      comfortable with identifying the animals and knowledgeable about the
      behaviors I will run a parallel test with you. Simply, this test will
      require you and I to watch and record the behavior of the same animal for a
      number of minutes. You will begin collecting your own data when the two of
      us have an acceptable percentage rate of agreement on the behaviors we
      record. (In other words, you must pass the parallel test before you can
      begin to collect your own data.) You will have approximately two weeks to
      learn the animals, learn the behaviors, and pass your parallel test.
      Data: You will then be ready to complete "two" 10 minute
      observation sessions on each monkey in the ARC. For an example of data
      collection, see "Making Good Observations", p. 17. Data observation sheets
      are kept in ARC 2.170. You have assigned lab time, but the lab is open
      from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through
      Friday so you may do your observations any time during these hours. 
      All data will be entered on Macintosh computers. For information
      on data entry, see "Computer News", p. 18 of lab manual. Data is graded on
      accuracy, length and the number of times the animals were watched (remember
      each animal must be watched twice, for ten minutes each time!). IMPORTANT:
      For everyday your data is late, a half a letter grade will be deducted.
      Paper: When all your data is in, it will be tabulated and
      summarized together with the rest of the class data and returned to you for
      interpretation. You are required to write a brief paper on one aspect of th
      e summary that interests you. As you read your textbooks keep your paper
      in mind, this might be helpful in generating ideas for your paper. In
      addition, papers from other semesters are available for you to look at
      during office hours.
      Your paper should include an Abstract and Introduction, as well as
      sections entitled Methods, Results, Discussion, and Reference. The
      American Journal of Primatology , the Journal of Comparative Psychology ,
      and Ethology are all journals you can refer to for examples of this
      format. If you need help in writing this paper you can refer to the book
      "Elements of the Scientific Paper" by Michael J. Katz, on reserve in the
      Life Science Library. IMPORTANT: For everyday your paper is late, a half
      a letter grade will be deducted.
      
      
      DEADLINES:
      
      Week 4 Parallel test must be finished.
      Week 9 All observations due on computer disk.
      Week 10 Data analysis will be returned.
      Week 14 Papers due.
      
      LAB GRADING:
      
      10% Parallel test 
      40% Data, Data entry, editing, verification
      50% Lab paper
      
      EXAMPLE PAPER TOPICS
      
      Relationships between females of the same species and/or different species.
      Aggressive, affiliative, etc.
      Relationships between males of the same species and/or different species. 
      Aggressive, affiliative, etc.
      Kin relationships and female and/or male behavior.
      Dominance rank, kinship and the formation of alliances or cooperation.
      Benefits and costs of high rank.
      Altruism and reciprocity. 
      Kin selection.
      Kin recognition.
      Interactions between mothers and offspring.
      Interactions between siblings.
      Allomaternal care.
      Relationships between males and infants and/or juveniles.
      Play. Who plays with who, function of play, etc.
      Juvenile interactions. 
      Grooming. Evolution, function, benefits, etc.
      Effects of the social system on male-male intergroup relationships.
      Female dominance. Function of dominance for females.
      Male dominance. Function of dominance for males.
      Incest avoidance.
      Sex differences in aggression.
      
      Overdorff's Syllabus:
      
      COURSE DESCRIPTION AND GOALS
      
      This course is designed to give students a basic introduction to
      primate behavior by exploring various aspects of behavior: Social
      structure, communication, affiliative interactions, conflict and
      aggression, dominance, parenting styles, and mating styles. Students will
      learn what it is like to be a primate living in a social group from a
      variety of different non-human primate species' perspectives. In addition,
      students will also learn how to think about how an animal's sex and age
      influence their social role. 
      
      The aim of this course is to provide basic information in a
      descriptive format. However, at the beginning of the class several
      lectures are presented on how we (anthropologists/biologists) interpret
      behavior from various theoretical perspectives (ultimate versus proximate).
      This includes providing a basic introduction to natural selection,
      sociobiology and alternative evolutionary perspectives. Consequently,
      discussion is encouraged on the possible meaning (to immediate individuals
      and in an evolutionary sense) of these behaviors as details are presented
      on each aspect of primate behavior listed above. 
      
      To meet these goals, the class is divided up into three sections. 
      Section I is an introduction to the primate Order with an emphasis on the
      similarities and differences in behavior (not morphology) between different
      family groups. The rest of section one focuses on how primatologists
      interpret social behavior and the details the theoretical tools used to
      help us understand the proximate (or immediate) causes of behavior and the
      ultimate (or evolutionary) reasons for the behavior. 
      
      Section II deals with the elements that allow an animal to live
      successfully in a group. First students discuss why bother being social in
      the first place in addition to what are the advantages and disadvantages of
      different kinds of groups. Then we will discuss how primates manage to
      maintain status within their social groups through aggressive and affiliativ
      e interactions, and communication styles.
      
      Section III takes a life-history approach to a primate's social
      life. We will examine which strategies a primate uses and how a primates
      sex and age affect his/her social status from mating, infancy, juvenescence
      to old age. How different social groups affect each of these stages in a
      primate's life will also be discussed. 
      
      GRADING
      
      The format of each exam may vary, but will usually include definitions,
      fill-in- the blank, multiple choice questions, and short essays. 
      
      Paper 40%
      Exam #1 20%
      Exam #2 20%
      Exam #3 20%
      
      
      The following guidelines are used to assign final grades:
      
      90-100 A
      80-89 B
      70-79 C
      60-69 D
      59 or less F
      
      Regrading policy: When tests or lab homework are handed back, you have one
      week to appeal your grade with the professor or TA. 
      Exams are NOT cumulative- they will only cover new material presented since
      the previous exam
      
      SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DEADLINES THIS SEMESTER
      
      
      October 2- Exam #1 
      November 1- Exam # 2 (not cumulative)
      November 22- Laboratory Paper due in class
      December 6- Exam #3 (not cumulative)
      
      TEXTS
      
      1) Jolly, A (1985) Evolution of Primate Behavior 2nd edition,
      Macmillan Press.
      2) Bramblett, C (1994) Patterns of Primate Behavior 2nd edition,
      Waveland Press.
      3) SOURCEBOOK, a reader available at ABEL'S COPIES, 1906 Guadalupe
      St. 
      4) Lab Manual- this book is also available at ABEL'S COPIES, 1906
      Guadalupe St. and will have the syllabus included as well. 
      
      SYLLABUS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS
      
      TOPIC Readings from Sourcebook by Author
      
      Aug 30- Introductory lecture Bramblett-Ch1
      Sep 6- Primates I- Introduction to Primate Order
      - Prosimians and New World Primates Jolly-Ch1 & Bramblett-Ch3
      Sep 11- Primates II- New World and 
      Old World Monkeys
      Sep 13- Primates III- Apes and Humans
      Sep 18- Evolution of Behavior I: 
      Nature versus Nurture Jolly-Ch9
      Sep 20- Evolution of Behavior II: 
      From Natural Selection to Sociobiology Wrangham, 1987
      Sep 25 - Evolution of Behavior III: 
      The Sociobiological Revolt Richard & Schulman, 1982
      Sep 27- Living in Groups I: Types of Groups Jolly-Ch6
      Oct 2- EXAM # 1
      Oct 4- Living in Groups II: Group strategies 
      Oct 9- Living in Groups III: Why Bother? Jolly-Ch7 pp. 173-177
      Oct 11- Who lives in a group? Jolly-Ch15
      Oct 16- Affiliative/ Aggressive behaviors I- 
      Social means to a social end Jolly-CH12 Bramblett-pp75-82 
      Walters and
      Seyfarth, 1987
      Oct 18 - Affiliative/ Aggressive behaviors II- 
      Dominance hierarchies Richard, 1987
      Oct 23- Affiliative/Aggressive behaviors III - 
      Conflict resolution
      Oct 25- Communication I: 
      How do you do it effectively? Jolly-CH10 B-pp.35-62 Zeller, 1987
      Oct 30- Communication II: How do you do it effectively?
      Nov 1- EXAM #2 
      Nov 6- Mating Behavior I: 
      Strategies Jolly-CH13 Bramblett-pp.63-75
      Nov 13- Mating Behavior II: 
      Male and Female choices SMUTS, 1987
      Nov 15- Infants I: Parental Care and Not so 
      Parental Care (Infanticide) Jolly-CH14 pp.327-332
      pp.259-263 
      Hrdy, 1991
      Nov 20- Infants III: Play behavior Jolly CH19
      Nov 22- Juveniles I: the agonies of adolescence Jolly-pp.333-338 
      **PAPER DUE IN CLASS
      Nov-27- Juveniles II: the agonies of adolescence Packer and Pusey, 1987
      Nov 29 - Primate Careers and Life History: 
      Growing Old Jolly-CH4 pp.339-340 Bramblett-pp.181-185
      Dec 4- Life History Case Study : Eulemur fulvus rufus in Madagascar
      Dec 6- EXAM # 3
      
      
      Bramblett's Syllabus:
      
      Part I reviews the class assignments, briefly discusses what it means to be
      a primate, and gives background information about the group being studied
      in the laboratory. Part II is an introduction to principles of ecology and
      the prominent features of primate habitats. Part III surveys the major
      issues in primate biology by subject area. All of the readings should be
      completed by the end of this section. Students should reread materials as
      needed when reviewing subsequent topics. Part IV reviews these issues from
      an organismal perspective.
      
      Topic Readings
      I. INTRODUCTION 
      1 Introduction to class activities Read all of Bramblett
      2 Quick Survey of the primates Ch.1 of Jolly
      3 History of the Austin Guenons 
      4 Film: Ecology and Behavior of Vervet Monkeys (Struhsaker)
      
      II. ECOLOGY 
      5 Foundation Stones of Ecology Ch. 2 of Jolly
      6 Rain Forests Ch. 3 of Jolly
      7 Carrying capacity & Diseases Ch. 4,5 of Jolly
      8 Socioecology Ch. 6,7,8 of Jolly
      Quiz 1 (All of Bramblett, 1-8 of Jolly)
      
      III. BEHAVIORAL MECHANISMS 
      9 Deprivation & Learning Ch. 9,19 of Jolly
      (10 min of video from Harlow's lab)
      10 Communication Ch. 10 of Jolly
      11 Cognition Ch. 16,17,18 of Jolly
      12 Talking Apes Ch. 20 of Jolly
      (Brief video segments of Washoe, Koko, & Kanzi)
      13 Reproduction Ch. 11,13,14,15 of Jolly
      14 Aggression Ch. 12 of Jolly
      15 Society and sociobiology 
      Quiz 2 (All of Bramblett and Jolly)
      
      IV. SURVEY OF PRIMATES (a few example species)
      16 Prosimians 
      (5 minutes of video on aye-aye)
      17 New World Monkeys
      (brief video clips of howler, capuchin, and squirrel monkeys)
      18 Guenons
      19 Baboons
      (5 min video on Papio)
      20 Macaques
      21 Colobines
      22 Orang/Gibbons
      23 Gorillas
      (video of Fossey & gorillas, 5 min clip from Gorillas in the Mist)
      24 Chimpanzees
      (brief video from Gombe, 5 min clip from Tarzan movie)
      25 Review & course evaluations
      Quiz 3 (9:00 A.M.) (All of Bramblett and Jolly)
      
      REQUIRED TEXTS:
      
      Bramblett, C.1994 Patterns of Primate Behavior. Waveland Press Inc. 
      Jolly, A. 1985 The Evolution of Primate Behavior. Macmillan Publishing Co
      
      Optional Text:
      Fedigan, L. 1992 Primate Paradigms. Chicago.
      
      A required laboratory manual is available from Abel's Copies at 1906
      Guadeloupe St. 
      
      
      Grades will be computed in this manner: 
      Grade = (lecture average + lab average)/2
      Lecture average is based upon an average of Quizzes 1 2 & 3. 
      All quizzes are cumulative in coverage.