Aug 17, 2009


I learned a new vocabulary word when researching the frugivorous long tailed macaque. This monkey, who inhabits much of Southeast Asia, tends to do its foraging in the undercanopy: that portion of the jungle and swamp that is below 20 meters. Why so low, why so often on the ground? They do so to avoid feeding competition with other symaptric monkeys.

Vocab word: sympatry: "occupying geographical ranges that at least partially overlap without interbreeding."

I guess it can be said that I live in sympatry with a whole host of other humans with whom I have no intention of interbreeding, and with whom I compete for food. Most notably: at work when the drooling masses descend like vultures to a carcass whenever someone brings in a tin of homemade brownies. David Attenborough would cringe at the level of ferocity we humans can display to get our paws on those brownies. It's a Hobbesian world.

Photo source: Keven Law

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