Saturday 8 May 2010

Jane Goodall reflects on her life's work

Since Primatologist,  Jane Goodall in 1960 observed a chimpanzee trimming a blade of grass and poking it into a passage in a termite mound to extract his meal, humans could no longer claim to be the only tool-making species. Her findings led scientists to redefine how they looked at the relationship of humans, chimps and other animals.

"Now, looking back, I am struck at how much they resemble us: their gestures, elaborate cooperation, the relationships of families. There is not a sharp line dividing us from the animal kingdom. It is blurry and getting blurrier." 

Goodall worked largely in isolation until 1986 when at a conservation conference in Chicago, she realized that the fate of the chimps was tied to larger problems: habitat destruction, human population growth, poverty, demand for natural resources, intensive farming, illegal poaching for meat, pets and medical research.

Its likely that Goodall witnessed chimpanzee's, as this video shows, fishing for termites by taking and modifying twigs to fish for termites within their hard nests.


The Jane Goodall Institute
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