Blog - JGI Chimpanzee Blog

Catching Up With Old Friends

Edgar (left) and Forest (right)

A New Perspective on Chimpanzees!

"For the past 10 days, we have taken a different angle on filming chimps. Rather than shooting a fig-eating sequence in the traditional way—from the ground looking up 100 feet or so to the treetops—we decided to move up to the chimps' level. 

Searching High and Low for Chimpanzees

In his latest blog entry, Dr. Deus Mjungu, Gombe Stream Research Center’s director of chimpanzee research, writes of a particularly strenuous day tracking the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park.

Each day, we typically target one individual chimpanzee who has not been followed recently and track him or her for the entire day.

On the Trail of Gombe’s Twin Sisters

In a recent blog update, Dr. Deus Mjungu, Gombe Stream Research Center’s director of chimpanzee research, wrote of observing the interaction between Gombe National Park’s twin sisters, Golden and Glitter. Dr. Mjungu also hinted about some potentially exciting news—fingers crossed!

Two New Chimp Babies at Gombe!

 

Exciting news! Today we learned about the second baby chimpanzee born at Gombe National Park. Bahati was sighted with a newborn a few days ago. The baby is estimated to be one week old. In the last month, Fanni also gave birth. Matthew Heintz, a graduate student from the Lincoln Park Zoo, wrote the report below from the field.


Mtoto Mpya Mwengine (Another New Child)
Contributor: Matthew Heintz, Lincoln Park Zoo

September 26, 2010

Jane's Journal: Excerpt from July 14, 1960

14th July 1960

“We really did manage to get off today. We woke at dawn ... Left about 9 and arrived about 11. The fisherman were all along the beaches frying their dagga fish. It looked as though patches of sand had been whitewashed. Above, the mountains rose up steeply behind the beaches. The slopes were thickly covered with accacia and other trees -Miombo woodland? Every so often a stream cascaded down the vallys between the ridges, with its thick fringe of forest -the home of the chimps.

Jane's first big discovery: chimps eat meat

At 7:40 a.m. on October 30, sitting on her Peak, Jane heard a wild commotion in the treetops below her. She heard some "angry little screams," and finally saw 1 of 3 chimpanzees grasping something pink. Two bushpigs ran around the base of the tree, and chased a smaller chimpanzee up it. Baboons tried to get close, snarling and skirmishing with the chimps. Eventually the chimp with the coveted goods moved out onto a high, bare branch and Jane could see he was holding a piece of carcass.

'Big Man' fossil looks more human than chimp

A fossil discovery described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is inconsistent with common notions that our direct evolutionary ancestors looked more like chimpanzees or gorillas than humans.

Like the famous "Lucy," this fossil, dubbed "Big Man," is Australopithecus afarensis, a bipedal primate and direct ancestor of humans. Big Man stood about 5'5," had legs that would have been good for running, and had a rib cage similar to our own. He was much taller than Lucy.

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.

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Jane: A Snapshot

Watch this new video from National Geographic which highlights Dr. Goodall's life and legacy.

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Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

This is the story of Mugu Moja, a young juvenile chimpanzee.