Thursday, August 19, 2010
I recently finished a serving of easy mac. Although prep time was slightly longer since I had to use a small kerosene stove (there is no microwave here in Gombe), it was definitely worth the wait and extremely delicious.
Since I am always thinking about food, daydreaming for me and observing the chimps eat all day, I thought I would write a blog about this favorite pastime of ours. I’m not sure if it’s more in the forest or more in my head, but sometimes as I’m walking around I’ll get a whiff of the air and be reminded of different foods, like bubble gum, basil, broccoli cheddar soup, mac n’ cheese and crayons (I guess those are food if you’re 3 years and under).
Friday, July 16, 2010
In the course of following chimpanzees, you often slide down slopes, get bit by insects, scratched by trees, etc. So, the appropriate garb is head-to-toe field clothes—preferably breathable and ripstop, with your socks tucked into your boots to keep anything from crawling in.
So it seems strange that in the attached picture I’m in short sleeves and sandals and looking moderately put together…what gives? Well, as sometimes happens, the chimpanzees walked through our field camp this day, so I could hop quickly out of the office to grab a picture. It was amazing to see them one last time, because tomorrow I fly to Dar es Salaam to start the long trip home.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Lincoln Park Zoo is proud to note that today marks the 50th anniversary of Jane Goodall beginning her groundbreaking research at Tanzania's Gombe National Park. Read reflections on 50 years at Gombe (including a story from Lincoln Park Zoo scientist Elizabeth Lonsdorf) and learn more about the zoo's work to preserve Gombe's chimpanzees.
Monday, July 12, 2010
When I’m in the forest I usually try to follow mothers and infant chimpanzees for two consecutive days every month and also for four consecutive days once during my field season. This means that in addition to snapshots of chimpanzee behavior, I also get a fairly accurate idea of their daily routine. And Carson Murray was right when she told me that the females especially have patterns.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
When you are doing research on chimpanzees, you spend your time following them around on foot at a safe distance, taking data on whatever particular aspect you are studying. Sometimes, however, it's quite difficult to find and/or stay with chimpanzees, so we often follow them until they go to bed at night and come back the next morning before they wake up.
Chimpanzees build a nest up in the trees each night in which to sleep. Therefore, we “nest” them at about 6–7 p.m. and “unnest” them between 6–7 in the morning. This morning, I went out at the crack of dawn with my graduate student, Matt Heintz of the University of Chicago, to unnest one of my favorite chimpanzees, Gaia, and her 1-year-old son, Google.
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.
Your support helps conserve endangered species around the globe. Give today to make a difference.