JGI Chimpanzee Blog

News and anecdotes about chimpanzees

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.

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!

 

Syndicate content
 

JGI News and Highlights

Featured Video

Super Kodo Enviro Kid's Videos

Check out this video about JGI's latest crowd funding effort for seven new episodes of its popular environmental education series for kids.

Featured Video

Featured Video

Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

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