With funds raised by her friend and mentor, noted paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, 26-year-old Jane Goodall journeys to Gombe Stream National Park on Lake Tanganyika, in what will later be Tanzania, Africa. There the amateur primatologist will begin her groundbreaking studies of chimpanzee communities.
Jane Goodall One of the most influential people you can meet, she dedicated and dedicates her life to fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania.She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, and she has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996. A muse to us all.
The word primate entered English around 800 years ago from the Early French word primat meaning a high bishop, from the Latin primatem, meaning a church primate, ultimately from the Latin word primus meaning first. It wasn’t until 1758 that Linneaus applied the term primate to the order that contains humans, gorillas, the mouse lemur, and chimpanzees. Linneaus gave the name to indicate that primates (and notably humans) stood at the first rank of mammals. In order to understand the vast range of primate morphology, consider the three primates pictured above: Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, native to a small section of Madagascar, weighs only an ounce. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla, found mostly in the Democractic Republic of the Congo can weigh as much as 440 pounds. Humans, here represented by primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, typically weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. The earliest primates evolved over 55 million years ago and comprise hundreds of distinct sub-orders and families.
Dame Jane Goodall was born in 1934 in London and as a young girl was given a stuffed animal toy of a chimpanzee, which inspired her work. Her 55 year study of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania not only contributed greatly to the fields of primatology, she inspired generations of scientists and changed the nature of field study. Today she oversees the Jane Goodall Institute and has authored dozens of books. Her latest book can be found here:
Image of Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur courtesy Arjan Havercamp, image of Eastern Lowland Gorilla courtesy James Gaither, image of Jane Goodall courtesy the World Bank, all used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
Jane Goodall is an English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, and she has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996.