The British scientist Jane Goodall is known for her exceptionally detailed and long-term research on chimpanzees. She studied the animals for many years in the East African country of Tanzania. Over the years, her discoveries changed the way chimpanzees are studied and understood. She was able to correct a number of misunderstandings about these animals.
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. She was interested in animal behavior from an early age. By age 11 she dreamed of living among Africa’s wildlife.
To earn money to travel to Africa, Goodall left school at age 18 and began working. At age 23 she arrived by boat in Kenya. She soon became an assistant to Louis Leakey, a famous scientist.
In 1960, Goodall set up camp on the shores of Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika. She studied chimpanzees close-up in their natural setting. It took months for Goodall to gain the chimps’ trust, but her patience paid off.
During her research, Goodall found that chimpanzees are omnivorous, not vegetarian, and that they can make and use tools. Scientists had believed only humans were toolmakers. She also discovered that they have complex and highly developed social behaviors that were previously unrecognized by humans. Finally, Goodall observed that each chimpanzee had a distinct personality and emotions.
Except for short absences, Goodall remained in Tanzania until 1975. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation.
Adapted from “Jane Goodall”, Britannica Kids, Encyclopædia Britannica. 20 January. 2022. kids.britannica.com/kids/article/Jane-Goodall/353195