Some time last week, a little birdie sent me a link to what appears to be a page from American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Said birdie also mentioned that the link has to do with my honors thesis. Along with the link was a thumbnail of a male hamadryas baboon that looked rather familiar. It took me a few seconds to realize that I am looking at Fadi, or Moja as what he is referred to by the zoo. (Follow this link for who's who at Prospect Park Zoo) Confused as to what my honors thesis, Moja and AMNH have in common, I opened the link. The link directed me to one of AMNH's Young Naturalist Awards winner, a young gentleman by the name of Henry.
Henry's winning entry is Hamadryas Baboons, Papio hamadryas: Captive vs. Wild. His research was on hamadryas baboon behaviors, where he compares the Prospect Park Zoo troops with the ones from Larissa Swedell's field work in Ethiopia. And guess what, he cited my thesis! I'm excited that someone dug up my baby and used it in their research. This is the first time (that I know of) someone actually cited my research. I'm so glad I uploaded my honor thesis on Scribd instead of just letting the bound copy collect dust in my college's library. Anyway ...
Henry's research is quite interesting. He found that there are behavioral differences between captive and wild hamadryas baboons. Also, grooming was not the highest in frequency compared to other behaviors (sitting was the highest in frequency). This could be explained by the hot weather or the fact that data for this research was only collected for about 9 hours. Nonetheless, this is heading in a good direction and a pretty good research topic for a 15 year-old. Hopefully he'll stick to his passion for primates (baboons) and go on to be the next primatologist.
Note that the male hamadryas photo "Simen, a 19-year-old Alpha Male" (above) is actually Moja, Simen's offspring. Simen can be identified with a mole underneath his left eye, which is absent in this photo. Click on the link to read my thesis, A Cross-Species Comparative Study: Grooming Patterns in Captive Populations of Hamadryas Baboons and Geladas.