Jane Goodall, arguably the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and one-third of the famous “Trimates” (A.K.A. “Leakey’s Angels”), will celebrate her 80th birthday on April 3rd.
With the help of Louis Leakey, Goodall began her study of chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania in 1960. By 1967, she had established the Gombe Stream Research Center (GSRC). Now in its 47th year, observations of wild chimps in their natural habitat are still ongoing at GSRC today.
Gombe Stream is not only important because of Goodall’s initial long-term research findings, which are still valuable to primatologists today, but also because it’s the longest running field study of any animal species in its natural surroundings. This impressive span of time has allowed scientists to follow family lineages over many generations. In addition, they have had the opportunity to collect data on other fascinating behavior such as hunting, chimpanzee culture and relationships.
This short film by Biography.com discusses Goodall’s introduction to Louis Leakey and to primate studies.