2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Louis Leakey sending Jane Goodall to Gombe Stream, in Tanzania, to begin her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in the wild. The chimpanzee behavioral research she pioneered there has produced a wealth of scientific discovery. This significant and vital part of scientific history will be celebrated by The Leakey Foundation, in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences. Anne Pusey, former Director of Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies, will discuss this important project, which spans 50 years and is still running today.
Dr. Pusey reviews how the Gombe study has revealed the basic structure of chimpanzee society, the nature of social relationships within and between the sexes, life history patterns, and how these resemble and differ from those of humans.
Despite 50 years of study, chimpanzees are slow to give up their secrets and continue to surprise us. Pusey will discuss how long-term data, coupled with new technologies, have facilitated investigations of previously intractable questions and how new observations of unexpected behavior continually generate new questions.
The evening is illustrated with rarely seen archival photographs, video and recent stories of the Gombe chimpanzees.
Anne Pusey is Professor and Department Chair of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. She is interested in understanding the evolution of sociality, social structure, and the patterns of competition, cooperation and social bonds in animal species, including humans.
Anne Pusey discusses how female chimpanzees leave the communities in which they were born upon reaching adolescence, a habit likely developed to avoid inbreeding. Sharing similarities to many human societies, does this chimp practice point to a shared trait passed down from a common ancestor?
West African, or masked, chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus).Helmut Albrecht/Bruce Coleman Ltd.Species (Pan troglodytes) of great ape that inhabits the rain forests and woodland savannas of equatorial Africa, the closest living relative to humans. Chimps are 35.5 ft (11.7 m) tall when standing upright, weigh 70130 lbs (3260 kg), and have a brown or black coat and a bare face. They do most of their feeding in the trees, swinging from branch to branch; to move any distance they walk, usually on all fours, on the ground. They eat mostly fruits, berries, leaves, and seeds, some termites and ants, and occasionally a young baboon or bush pig. They are capable of problem solving, tool use, and deceit. Chimpanzees are highly social and live in flexible groups (15100 or more members) known as communities. In the wild they live about 45 years, in captivity more than 50. See alsobonobo.
(born April 3, 1934, London, Eng.) British ethologist. Soon after finishing high school, she fulfilled her childhood ambition of traveling to Africa, where she assisted Louis Leakey (seeLeakey family), who suggested she study chimpanzees. She received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University for her work and remained at the research centre she founded in Gombe, Tanz., until 1975. In 1977 she cofounded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation in the U.S. Her observations established, among other things, that chimpanzees are omnivorous rather than vegetarian, can make and use tools, and have complex and highly developed social behaviours. Noteworthy among her writings are In the Shadow of Man (1971) and The Chimpanzees of Gombe (1986). She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.