★★☆Are Baboons Democratic?

2015年07月13日 ★★☆, As It Is, News Articles, VOA, World, 未分類.

Read and understand the story. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. primatologist /ˌprīməˈtäləjē/(n)
  2. a person who studies primates especially other than recent humans.

  3. data /ˈdeɪtə/ (n.)
  4. facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something

  5. dominant /ˈdɑːmənənt/ (adj.)
  6. more important, powerful, or successful than most or all others

  7. egalitarian /ɪˌgæləˈterijən/ (adj )
  8. aiming for equal wealth, status, etc. among members in a group

  9. evolutionary /ˌɛvəˈluːʃən/ (adj )
  10. concerning or relating to a process of slow change and development


    Are Baboons Democratic?

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    (1) A team of scientists has found a surprise element to the social structure of baboons: democracy. The animals live in groups with a single male leader. But, apparently, obedience to the leader is not always the rule.

    (2) Margaret Crofoot is a primatologist at the University of California, Davis. She led the scientists in their study of wild baboons at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya.

    (3) The team placed GPS devices on 25 baboons. They recorded the animals’ movements for two weeks. The devices provided about 20 million points of data.

    (4) The scientists examined the data by measuring the distance between two baboons. How that distance changed provided a picture of how the group moved as a whole.

    (5) Ms. Crofoot says she was surprised that the baboons did not follow the group’s lead, or dominant, male. Her team found that the majority ruled the group’s movements. The animals followed the direction set by the most baboons. Ms. Crofoot says the results show that dominant individuals only direct what the group does some of the time. She says at other times the process is more egalitarian and democratic.

    (6) Individual baboons decide where to go by looking around to see where others are going. Looking to one’s neighbors when deciding where to go is not unusual for birds and fish. But it was not expected for baboons.

    (7)Scientist Crofoot says when the baboons could not compromise about a direction, they often had to stop and think about the issue. This meant losing time for eating, playing, socializing and other activities.

    (8) So, the urge to move with the crowd may be the greatest evolutionary invention in support of unity.


    *Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

    1. What is Democratic behavior? What is the advantage of this behavior?
    2. Do you think there are animal behaviors that are the same as humans? What behaviors have you observe?
    3. Could Darwin’s theory of evolution be possible? Why?
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