In Mountain Gorilla: Mission Critical, National Geographic follows the world's last mountain gorillas.

Mountain Gorilla: Mission Critical - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Running

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2016-10-09

Mountain Gorilla: Mission Critical - Primate - Netflix

A primate ( ( listen) PRY-mayt) is a mammal of the order Primates (Latin: “prime, first rank”). In taxonomy, primates include two distinct lineages, strepsirrhines and haplorhines. Primates arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging environment. Most primate species remain at least partly arboreal. With the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of the Americas, Africa and Asia. They range in typical size from Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, which weighs only 30 g (1 oz), to the eastern gorilla, weighing over 200 kg (440 lb). Based on fossil evidence, the earliest known true primates, represented by the genus Teilhardina, date to 55.8 mya. An early close primate relative known from abundant remains is the Late Paleocene Plesiadapis, c. 55–58 million years old. Molecular clock studies suggest that the primate branch may be even older, originating near the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary or around 63–74 mya. The order Primates was traditionally divided into two main groupings: prosimians and anthropoids (simians). Prosimians have characteristics more like those of the earliest primates, and include the lemurs of Madagascar, lorisoids, and tarsiers. Simians include monkeys and apes. More recently, taxonomists have preferred to split primates into the suborder Strepsirrhini, or wet-nosed primates, consisting of non-tarsier prosimians, and the suborder Haplorhini, or dry-nosed primates, consisting of tarsiers and the simians. Simians are divided into two groups: catarrhine (narrow-nosed) monkeys and apes of Africa and Southeast Asia and platyrrhine (“flat-nosed”) or New World monkeys of South and Middle America. Catarrhines consist of Old World monkeys (such as baboons and macaques), gibbons and great apes; New World monkeys include the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys. Humans are the only extant catarrhines to have spread successfully outside of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia, although fossil evidence shows many other species were formerly present in Europe. New primate species are still being discovered. More than 25 species were taxonomically described in the decade of the 2000s and eleven have been described since 2010. Considered generalist mammals, primates exhibit a wide range of characteristics. Some primates (including some great apes and baboons) are primarily terrestrial rather than arboreal, but all species possess adaptations for climbing trees. Locomotion techniques used include leaping from tree to tree, walking on two or four limbs, knuckle-walking, and swinging between branches of trees (brachiation). Primates are characterized by large brains relative to other mammals, as well as an increased reliance on stereoscopic vision at the expense of smell, the dominant sensory system in most mammals. These features are more developed in monkeys and apes and noticeably less so in lorises and lemurs. Trichromatism has developed in some primates. Except for apes, they have tails. Most primates also have opposable thumbs. Many species are sexually dimorphic; differences include body mass, canine tooth size, and coloration. Primates have slower rates of development than other similarly sized mammals and reach maturity later, but have longer lifespans. Depending on the species, adults may live in solitude, in mated pairs, or in groups of up to hundreds of members.

Mountain Gorilla: Mission Critical - Habitat and distribution - Netflix

Primates evolved from arboreal animals, and many species live most of their lives in trees. Most primate species live in tropical rain forests. The number of primate species within tropical areas has been shown to be positively correlated to the amount of rainfall and the amount of rain forest area. Accounting for 25% to 40% of the fruit-eating animals (by weight) within tropical rainforests, primates play an important ecological role by dispersing seeds of many tree species. Some species are partially terrestrial, such as baboons and patas monkeys, and a few species are fully terrestrial, such as geladas and humans. Non-human primates live in a diverse number of forested habitats in the tropical latitudes of Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and South America, including rainforests, mangrove forests, and montane forests. There are some examples of non-human primates that live outside of the tropics; the mountain-dwelling Japanese macaque lives in the north of Honshū where there is snow-cover eight months of the year; the Barbary macaque lives in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco. Primate habitats span a range of altitudes: the black snub-nosed monkey has been found living in the Hengduan Mountains at altitudes of 4,700 meters (15,400 ft), the mountain gorilla can be found at 4,200 meters (13,200 ft) crossing the Virunga Mountains, and the gelada has been found at elevations of up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) in the Ethiopian Highlands. Although most species are generally shy of water, a few are good swimmers and are comfortable in swamps and watery areas, including the proboscis monkey, De Brazza's monkey and Allen's swamp monkey, which has developed small webbing between its fingers. Some primates, such as the rhesus macaque and gray langurs, can exploit human-modified environments and even live in cities.

Mountain Gorilla: Mission Critical - References - Netflix