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CLICK HERE TO TOUR DR. JANE'S GOMBE HOME
Did you know that when Dr. Jane first came to Gombe National Park to observe chimpanzees, her mother, Vanne, was with her? Find out what else she brought along.
At first, the chimpanzees fled whenever they saw Jane. But she persisted, watching from a distance with binoculars, and gradually the chimpanzees allowed her closer. One day in November 1960 she saw chimpanzees David Greybeard and Goliath strip leaves off twigs to make tools for fishing termites out of a termite mound. Up until this time, scientists thought humans were the only species to make tools, but here was evidence to the contrary!
One key to success for Dr. Jane while she was at Gombe was her ability to be a keen observer. Although most people will not have the opportunity to observe wild chimpanzees, students need to be sharp observers because careful observations are the foundation of scientific inquiry - what we observe determines the questions we ask.
- Examine a stainless steel soup spoon and describe the difference in the reflections of the inner and outer side of the curved surfaces. Did you notice this before?
- Select an object and describe it using as many of your senses as possible and then share your description of it and see if another person can guess what it is. Be sure not to mention the name of your object in the description.
- Find and carefully observe a natural object in your environment from at least three different perspectives (e.g. up close, a few feet away, etc.). Write down three observations from each perspective and hypotheses for what you see. Discuss how the observations were affected by perspective and how the explanations changed with the addition of information.
- Now that you’ve practiced your observation skills, what are some of the things you notice about Dr. Jane’s Gombe home?
- How do your observation skills measure up to Dr. Jane’s?
Check out this image of one of Dr. Jane’s early field notes from Gombe!
© 2010 Jane Goodall Instittue: Lessons for Hope - Content. All Rights Reserved.
Over 100 chimpanzees live in Gombe, in three separate social groups or communities.
Thanks to National Geographic and other television specials about Jane, Jane’s books about the Gombe chimpanzees, and countless writings about her life and work, Gombe’s chimpanzees are known the world over. The most familiar to the public are the “F” family, a family line headed by the old matriarch Flo, who upon her death was the subject of an obituary in the Sunday Times.
In more recent years the world has come to know a pair who may be unique in the natural world – the chimpanzee twins Golden and Glitter. Twin chimpanzees generally don’t survive in the wild, but Golden & Glitter had the advantage of a doting older sister, Gaia, who helped her mother Gremlin raise the two girls.
- The twins are all grown up, see 2 year-old Gossamer riding on mom Glitter’s back.
- Learn some Fast Facts about chimpanzees
- What Makes a Chimpanzee Special? – Disneynature CHIMPANZEE Activity
- Which Tool Works Best? – Disneynature CHIMPANZEE Activity
- Study Chimpanzee Behaviors
- Test your Gombe Chimpanzee face matching skills. Can you recognize the different chimpanzees in Google Street View?
Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania, but it hosts a wide array of wildlife such as: olive baboons, red-tailed moneys, vervet monkeys, over 200 bird species, bushpigs and the occasional hippopotamus and leopard. Running along the shores of Lake Tanganyika the park has three main habitat types: grassland, alpine bamboo and tropical rainforest. Use Google Street View to tour an upper ridge grassland with Miombo Woodlands within the park.
- Explore the Street View Treks: Gombe, Tanzania page.
- Visit Mkenke Waterfall in the Kasakela Valley, Gombe National Park. Did you know that chimpanzees like to do waterfall dances? Read JGI Videographer Bill Wallauer’s observation of this activity.
- Where Do Chimpanzees Live? – Disneynature CHIMPANZEE Activity
- Who Are Chimpanzees’ Neighbors? – Disneynature CHIMPANZEE Activity
- Who Shares the Rainforest with Chimpanzees? – Disneynature CHIMPANZEE Activity
The Gombe Stream Research Center was founded in 1965 to support Dr. Jane’s chimpanzee research and it acts as a living laboratory. Home to the world’s most studied group of wild chimpanzees, Gombe’s chimpanzees are followed daily by JGI’s staff of Tanzanian researchers; their field notes further our understanding of chimpanzee diet, range use, intergroup aggression, health, and other areas of interest. The Center also hosts a regular stream of visiting researchers who conduct both basic and applied research, exploring areas such as relationships between fathers and offspring or female social status and range use.
- These checksheets (look right!) are still used as part of the research program at Gombe, which is the world’s longest running study of great apes.
- Check out the Gombe Research blog hosted by the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center at Duke University. Please note that some blog content may not be appropriate for young children.
- Jane’s Peak is one of Dr. Jane’s most special places at Gombe. This is where she watched David Greybeard make and use tools for the first time. She returns every time she visits.