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10 August 2012

in Rwanda: 6 July 2012, camp lunch

Lunchtime, 6 July 2012.

I’m going to be so busy transcribing all my notes into blog posts when I get home. It’s going to be ridiculous. Right now I’m focusing on getting my phone charged, so I can use the camera. I think I may need to remove the battery at night, so it doesn’t die once it’s charged. I had a little better than half the battery when I turned it off yesterday. This morning, when I turned it back on, the battery was so low that it automatically shut itself back off. It must be draining overnight, even though it’s turned off.

Lunch was goat ribs, Spanish rice, mushroom soup, mangoes, pineapple, oranges, beans, and fried potatoes. I don’t eat this well at home. It’s delicious and healthy. Craziness. I’ll be happy when there’s something cold besides water to drink. Oh, and bananas. Getting a little tired of bananas.

There was a hornbill (think Zazu, from the Lion King) in the tree behind us while we ate, but I missed it. Sara and Prof Netzin saw it. Another nearby tree has weaverbird nests. There’s three warthogs (maybe a mother and two offspring, since one is larger than the other two) which we’ve seen both mornings as we left camp, on the road between camp and reception. Later this afternoon, we’re going to see more baboons, we hope. If we can find them. Shouldn’t be too hard though; the troops around here seem fairly predictable, according to the workers here. For now, we’re going to set up the camp shower, and then we’ll have a little presentation on demography and recognizing individuals. Baboons are after that.

Recognition of individuals, and how many individuals members of a species one individual can recall, is a seriously interesting aspect of cognitive ecology. Prof Dieter is saying that humans can recognize and recall about 500 other individuals, and that correlates with the size of most tribes, historically (about 500 people). I wonder how much detail that particular type of recognition entails? Does it vary by gender, on either end? What about by sex?

Speaking of Prof Dieter, he found a baboon skull yesterday:

Freakin awesome.

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