Department of Sociology and Anthropology

University of Mississippi

Biological anthropology students study primate behavior at Memphis Zoo

September 15, 2017

Biological Anthropology students Marissa, Patrick, Ezell, and Harrison observe gorilla behavior as part of Carolyn Freiwald´s bioloigcal anthropology class.

Dr. Angela Dassow works with Carolyn Freiwald´s biological anthropology class studying gorilla behavior at the Memphis Zoo. Shown are students Ezell, Harrison, Patrick, and Marissa.

Biological anthropology students are learning what primates can tell us about ourselves. UM’s Dr. Carolyn Freiwald and Dr. Angela Dassow of Carthage College are working with their students to conduct the first formal study of lowland gorillas at the Memphis Zoo.

Zoo animals often behave differently than wild ones, and the classes are looking at feeding behaviors, the way the animals use their enclosure, and how they interact with zoo visitors. UM students took videos of the behaviors at the zoo, which they will watch online with Carthage College students during joint class sessions to code, analyze, and then publish their findings on the gorillas’ behavior.