We are wrapping up our Land Animals of the 6th Day study with Apologia. Just a few chapters left and we’ll be set to dive into Swimming Creatures a little into our new school year.
Every section I try to take the kids to the zoo to take a look at the animals “in person”. We’ve had a zoo pass for 3 years, and this being the last, I’m trying to cram in as much as possible! So Wednesday we went on another zoo scavenger hunt, for as many primates as we could find!
One of the interesting things about primates is that they are classified into one of two groups – and it’s all based on their noses! There are the Strepsirrhini primates, which have a curved nose, often referred to as a “wet nose”. These include lemurs, aye-ayes, and lorises. Then there are the Haplorhini primates, which have a simple nose, or “dry nose”. These are most of the primates we’re used to, such as marmosets, tamarins, baboons and mandrills (among MANY others!).
The reason I love Apologia science so much is they constantly focus on the TRUTH of creation, and blow a lot of scientific “theories” and ideas out of the water. Obviously, many scientists believe monkeys/apes and people are relatives because we’re “similarly” created. But they completely overlook the ways that we are so different, making it almost laughable for them to consider the correlation. As Christians, we believe humans are created in the image of God – no other creatures are. Primates have some similarities to humans, but these alone are not enough to say we’re “related” – primates are quadrepedal (walking on all fours), humans are bipedal. Primates have long canines, like a tiger – but would that make them related to the tiger? We have similarly shaped hands, and yes, primates are known to use some tools, but so do racoons and otters – are we related to them also?
If you are teaching science this year, I HIGHLY recommend looking into Apologia’s curriculum. I have always had a love for science, and it has absolutely exploded in teaching through these books. Such a fantastic focus on creation and truth!
Anyway, back to our scavenger hunt. Here’s a quick overview of the primates we were able to track down, and a couple details about each kind.
Lion-Tailed Macaque: South India (Old World monkey), “dry nose”
Orangutan: Indonesia and Malaysia (greater ape), “dry nose”
Orange-brown colour. Eat mostly fruits, plants, insects, eggs and small birds. We saw a 6-year old “baby” still nursing from his mama!
White-handed gibbon: Thailand and Malaysia (Old World monkey), “dry nose”
Black with some white colouring – obviously on their hands :D Gibbons are great at swinging through the trees!
Common Marmoset: Central and South America (New World monkey)
Grey, brown, black, white mixtures of colouring. These guys look cute, but they sure are vicious! They have claw-like nails which allow them to get into the innards of the plants where they eat the gum, sap and resin. They also eat some insects.
Gorilla: Africa, greater ape
These guys are obviously the largest of the primates :D The silverback is the dominant male and the only one allowed to breed. They’re herbivores and eat mostly plants and fruits.
We had hoped to catch the Ring-Tailed Lemurs and Golden Lion Tamarins, but they were either off exhibit or indoors. I’m sure we’ll see them another time!
What great adventures have you been on lately?