Blog - JGI Chimpanzee Blog

Jane on 'The Peak' and chimps in the trees

After a few weeks at Gombe, Jane found a perfect vantage point for watching the chimpanzees. It was a high ridge that gave her a good view in all directions. She could see the chimpanzees moving in the trees, and she could hear if they called.

Proud Daddies? Study shows male Barbary macaques use infants as status symbols

Check out this interesting New York Times article, which describes unusual behavior in Barbary macaque males. They use infants -- their own and others -- to facilitate bonding with other males, toting infants as status symbols. Dr.

"Retired" entertainment chimps: a very real problem

If you're a frequent visitor to our website or belong to our online community*, you may have heard us explain that entertainment chimpanzees generally can't be retired to zoos, because they haven't learned chimpanzee social skills and therefore don't fit in easily with established chimpanzee groups.

New study links chimp aggression to resource gain

A new study shows that male chimpanzee groups move into the territory of other chimpanzee groups to attack them and ultimately take over the territory or mates. But the scientists who conducted the study say they are reluctant to draw comparisons to human warfare. Instead, they are emphasizing the individual cooperation involved.

The Guardian quotes scientist John Mitani, a primate behavioral ecologist at the University of Michigan:

Gombe's biodiversity

What kind of animals would Jane have seen in her first weeks at Gombe? The forest to this day is home to an array of species. Baboons are seemingly ubiquitous, and red colobus monkeys are common as well.

Jane wrote a letter to her family describing some of the animals she encountered:

Scientists study orangutan gestures and body language

Scientists have identified more than 40 gestures used by orangutans to communicate.

To initiate play, for example, the apes used gestures including back rolls and blowing rasberries, while, quite familiarly "nudge and 'shoo' movements meant an ape wanted to be left alone."

Two scientists from the University of St Andrews in Scotland observed 28 orangutans at Twycross Zoo in the UK, Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands, and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey.

Thanks, Nat Geo!

National Geographic posted this video of a chimp baby in Tanzania doing what "kids" do best -- playing!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

Armed with a notebook and binoculars

Jane had come to East Africa from England in 1957, to pursue a dream she'd had since she was a child: to study and write about animals in Africa. In Kenya, legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey hired her as his assistant. He was eager to organize field studies of all the great apes in the wild, for they could teach much about human evolution.

Doctors perform ear surgery on zoo chimpanzee

New Zealand surgeons have performed what is thought to be the first ear surgery ever done on a chimpanzee.

What was Known?

What was known about chimpanzees when Jane Goodall stepped off that boat to begin her study of the wild chimp communities living in Tanzanian forest around one of the world's longest, largest and deepest freshwater lakes, (Lake Tanganyika)?

NGeo Video: Self-Recognition in Apes

You may have read about the "mark test" or "mirror test." It's a way scientists study self-awareness or self-recognition. They surreptitiously put a colored dot or other mark on a subject -- often somewhere on the face. If, while looking in a mirror, subjects touch their marks or adjust their position to see them better, it's clear they understand they're looking at an image of themselves, rather than at other beings. Species that have passed the mark test include all great apes, bottlenose dolphins and magpies.

In Fort Pierce, bringing the doctor to the chimps

Save the Chimps, a sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, Florida for former laboratory and entertainment chimpanzees (including the "astrochimps" the Air Force used in research), found a creative solution to the problems created by transporting chimpanzees for medical care: a mobile vet lab.

A Look Back at Jane's Amazing Story

On July 14, 2010, it will be 50 years to the day that Jane Goodall first stepped out of a game warden’s boat onto the pebbly beach at the Gombe Chimpanzee Reserve in what is today Tanzania. At the time, she expected to be in the forest observing wild chimpanzees for 3 or 4 months.

Climate Change Figured in Ancient Apes' Disappearance

A new study reports that great apes were wiped out in ancient Europe when climate and environmental changes replaced forests with grasslands. The change meant monkeys thrived but great apes did not. "Ancient relatives of modern orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and gibbons were able to survive in Asia and Africa, where those changes were not as drastic," reports the BBC.

Chimp Video: Mother and Child Reunion

If you missed National Geographic's documentary in April about the Fongoli chimpanzees in Senegal, Chimps: Next of Kin, check out this remarkable video. It shows field researchers returning a stolen baby chimp to her mother and community.

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