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Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall DBE Ph.D., (born April 3, 1934) is an English primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist, probably best-known for conducting a forty-five year study of chimpanzee social and family life, as director of the Jane Goodall Institute in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.

One of Goodall's major contributions to the field of primatology was the discovery of tool making in chimpanzees.

She discovered that some chimpanzees alter pieces of grass or twigs and then poke them into termite mounds.

The termites would grab onto the blade of grass or twig with their mandibles and the chimpanzees would then just pull the grass out and eat the termites.

Though many animals had been observed using "tools", previously, only humans were thought to use tools, and tool-making was considered the defining difference between humans and other animals.

This discovery convinced several scientists to reconsider their definition of being human.

Another characteristic of the chimpanzee that Jane Goodall discovered was their cooperative hunting of red colobus monkeys.

Goodall also set herself apart from the traditional conventions of the time in her study of primates by naming the animals she studied, instead of assigning each a number.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Jane Goodall", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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July 4, 2015

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