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Monday, June 1, 2009
Macho ya Kushangaza (Amazing Eyes)
Anyone who knows me knows that I do not excel when it comes to spatial memory and that my Garmin GPS is my best friend while I am driving. That’s why it’s amazing to work with people who can retrace their steps in the thicket that all looks so similar to me. It’s enough to make you start singing “Macho Man” (my apologies for any length of time that song gets stuck in your head).
I was practicing collecting data on Tanga and her kids Tom and Tabora when I placed my data sheets in my pants pocket because Magombe and I had to follow the chimpanzees through the thick undergrowth. After catching up to them I realized that my data sheet had fallen out of my pocket somewhere in the forest. Regardless of the fact that we had just walked and crawled in a zig-zag pattern for the last ten minutes through thick vegetation, Magombe was able to retrace our exact steps and found my data sheet. I was stunned and incredibly thankful. Next time I will be sure to keep my data sheets zipped up in my pack. And who knows, after six months of hiking through the forest I might be better able to navigate through jungle called Chicago.
Gombe Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute to study and conserve chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, the site of Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking research. Our Gombe field diaries feature updates as scientists monitor chimpanzee health, study ape behavior and experience life in Gombe.
As director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lonsdorf leads Lincoln Park Zoo efforts in Gombe National Park.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction in Gombe's chipmanzees.
A graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, Matt is studying how levels of play in Gombe¹s chimpanzees influence stress, development and reproductive success.
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