How are hierarchies negotiated?

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Question 1- Select two of the following areas and briefly compare humans, chimps and bonobos in regards
to similarities and differences; a) social group structure, mating patterns and care for dependent offspring,
b) dominance hierarchies, c) violence both within group and between groups, d) hunting, and e) tool
use. In your opinion how useful is the data from non-human primates to gain insight into human nature?
Select two areas to compare. Below are questions to address for each area.
Start with factual data on the three groups and then your analysis.
a) What are the standard social group structures for the three species? What are the mating
patterns? Who cares for dependent young (feeding, protecting, teaching)?
b) All primate groups have dominance hierarchies which are constantly negotiated with
communications both verbal and physical. Who gets to the top of the dominance hierarchy? What
is the benefit of being at the top of the hierarchy? How are hierarchies negotiated? Reference
examples from course materials
c) Which of the three species engage in violence? Violence against those within their group,
including infanticide and killing adults in their group? Who engages in violence against those
outside their group?
d) Hunting- Which species hunt for food? Is hunting an individual or group activity? Consider
humans survived by hunting, foraging and scavenging for 99% of their existence as a species, until
the advent of agriculture.
e) Tool use- What tools have each species been observed using? Is there much of a variety of
tools used? What are the tools used for, are they used to get food? To what degree is the species
reliant on tools for survival?
You don’t have to write a lot for each category.. Briefly discuss a couple of points for each species for the
two areas you selected. Then wrap up the answer by discussing your view on how similar or different
humans are from these other primates. Your knowledge of humans comes from your experience and
knowledge as a human
Question 2- Briefly outline the role of each process of evolution in the selection for bipedalism, discuss the
roles of mutation, gene drift, and gene flow which are random processes and then discuss the role of
natural selection, the only directional force of evolution. For natural selection specifically discuss the role of
fitness and niche, using your favored models to explain the evolution of bipedalism.

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