JGI Chimpanzee Blog
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.