National Geographic : 1995 Dec
When Jane Goodall began her study in 1960, Louis Leakey warned it might take ten years. She laughed and thought "maybe three." Both were wrong. By 1965, when her research was the subject of a GEOGRAPHIC cover story (left) and a TV Special, Goodall was revolutionizing our view of chimps. Today, three chimp generations later, her work with Gombe's Kasakela and Mitumba communities ranks as the longest field study of animals in the world. Time-and patience-was the key. "Had my colleagues and I stopped after ten years, we would have been left with the impression that chimpanzees are far more peaceable than humans," she says. Meat eating In Jane's first year, she ob served David 1964 Greybeard eat ing a baby bush- Planning pig-proving Figan demon that chimps are strated delib carnivorous. erate planning and intelligence when he "kid napped" Flint to 1960 get Flo and the Toolmaking rest of the group to follow him to A second break- another location. through came when David Greybeard trimmed a wide grass blade to probe a termite nest-the first recorded in stance of tool manufacture among non humans in the wild. Turning a chance discov ery to his advan tage, Mike showed superior intelligence by using empty ker osene cans to create a noisy charging dis play. Banging the cans to in timidate larger males, he bluffed his way to the top. 1966 Polio Polio-a dis ease that af flicts both humans and chimpanzees -struck hard at Gombe. Geneti cally, chimpan zees are closer to humans than any other ani mal: More than 98 percent of their genetic material is iden tical to ours. 1970 Awe The sight of a waterfall inspired the chimps to per form a sponta neous dance like display. Goodall believes that such ex pressions of awe may resemble the emotions that led early humans to religion. 1974 Warfare In a shocking development, war broke out between the Kasakela males and the seven males of a splin ter group, last ing four years and apparently claiming all the emigr6s. Inter community vio lence had not previously been observed.