Gorillas in water...

J. Moore (j#d#.moore@canrem.com)
Thu, 29 Jun 95 16:05:00 -0500

In regard to my recent mention of gorillas wading into water, I
erroneously gave the name of the wrong researcher who first mentioned
this behavior in 1975. I said it was Sabater Pi, while it was actually
Michael J. Casimir (*Folia Primatologica* 24:81-136, cited in Tuttle's
*Apes of the World*, 1986).

It's also interesting that the most recent National Geographic (July
1995) has an article on the Ndoki forest with a picture of a lowland
gorilla in water. The gorilla is standing on two feet; perhaps the
missing link the AAT supporters are looking for? Well, no; the gorilla
is staring directly at the cameraman (who was on a platform) and its
arms are clearly wet up to a point about midway between the elbow and
shoulder. In other words, we have a gorilla who was wading
quadrapedally, saw someone, and stood up -- typical gorilla behavior.

We also have some hyperbole on Nat Geo's part, as the picture is
claimed to be the "first ever published of a lowland gorilla in water".
Perhaps accurate in the strict sense of book or magazine publication ,
but a bit disingenuous considering the Nature program "Gorilla: King of
the Congo" from 1993, which showed lowland gorillas in this area in
water. (The Nat Geo folks did the fieldwork for this month's story
in 1993.)

Jim Moore (j#d#.moore@canrem.com)

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