In the Shadow of Man / Jane Goodall

When I was just over one year old my mother gave me a toy chimpanzee, a large hairy model celebrating the birth of the first chimpanzee infant ever born in the London zoo. Most of my mother’s friends were horrified and predicted that the ghastly creature would give a small child nightmares; but Jubilee (as the celebrated infant itself was named) was my most loved possession and accompanied me on all my childhood travels. I still have the worn old toy.

I saw one female, newly arrived in a group, hurry up to a big male and hold her hand toward him. Almost regally he reached out, clasped her hand in his, drew it toward him, and kissed it with his lips. I saw two adult males embrace each other in greeting. I saw youngsters having wild games through the treetops, chasing around after each other or jumping again and again, one after the other, from a branch to a springy bough below.

It was at this time that I began to recognize a number of different individuals. As soon as I was sure of knowing a chimpanzee if I saw it again, I named it. Some scientists feel that animals should be labeled by numbers – that to name them is anthropomorphic – but I have always been interested in the differences between individuals, and a name is not only more individual than a number but also far easier to remember. Most names were simply those which, for some reason or other, seemed to suit the individuals to whom I attached them. A few chimps were named because some facial expression or mannerism reminded me of human acquaintances.

Vanne put up with the most primitive conditions without a murmur. We lived in those early days on baked beans, corned beef, and other tinned meat and vegetables, since we had no refrigerator. We bathed at night in a tiny canvas ‘tub’ supported at each corner by a wooden frame and filled with a few inches of water – too hot when one got in and cold when one got out a few moments later. Sometimes giant hairy spiders took refuge in our tent, and twice Vanne woke in the morning to see the flattened, evil-looking body of a deadly giant centipede clinging to the roof of the tent above her bed. Also, there was an element in the water that disagreed with Vanne’s never strong stomach, so she seldom if ever felt one hundred percent fit.

Judy felt it her duty to ‘fatten me up.’ Accordingly, she ordered such things as porridge and custard, Bovril and Horlicks. But somehow I never felt like eating them, and, since Judy couldn’t bear to see them wasted, she ate them instead.

이거 대체 왜 밑줄쳤나 한참 생각해 봤더니 아빠-내 관계랑 너무 흡사해서 밑줄친거였다 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Goliath and William arrived together on Christmas morning and gave loud screams of excitement when they saw the huge pile of fruit. They flung their arms around one another and Goliath kept patting William on his wide-open screaming mouth while William laid one arm over Goliath’s back. Finally they calmed down and began their feast, still uttering small squeaks and grunts of pleasure, somewhat muffled and sticky through their mouthfuls of banana.

William went a few hundred yards along the valley, climbed into a tree, and made himself a large and leafy nest. There he lay until about three in the afternoon, wheezing and coughing, and sometimes apparently dozing. Several times he actually urinated while lying in his bed – behavior so unusual that I knew he surely must be feeling very poorly.

Rodolf, in those days, was a high-ranking and enormously big and powerful chimpanzee, and he became Flo’s faithful escort. He walked everywhere just beside or behind her, he stopped when she stopped, he slept in the nest closest to hers. And it was to Rodolf that Flo often hurried when she was hurt or frightened during those weeks, and he would lay his hand reassuringly on her or sometimes put one arm around her. Yet he did not protest in any way when other males mated with Flo.

Eventually Mike’s use of kerosene cans became dangerous – he learned to hurl them ahead of him at the close of a charge. Once he got me on the back of my head, and once he hit Hugo’s precious movie camera. We decided to remove all the cans, and went through a nightmare period while Mike tried to drag about all manner of other objects. Once he got hold of Hugo’s tripod – luckily when the camera was not mounted – and once he managed to grab and pull down the large cupboard in which we kept a good deal of food and all our crockery and cutlery. The noise and the trail of destruction were unbelievable. Finally, however, we managed to dig things into the ground or hide them away, and like his companions Mike had to resort to branches and rocks.

Figan, going up to an older male with a submissive pant-grunt, is probably affirming that he remembers quite well the little aggressive incident of two days before when he was thumped soundly on the back. ‘I know you are dominant. I admit it; I remember’ is probably the sort of communication inherent in his submissive gesturing. ‘I acknowledge your respect; I shall not attack you just now’ is implicit in the gentle patting movement of Mike’s hand as he greets a submissive female.

Leakey, like his namesake, was robust, high-ranking, and usually good-natured. Mr Worzle, on the other hand, was always nervous, both in his dealings with other chimps and with human beings.

One day when Flo was socially grooming with four adult males, a young pregnant female arrived; she had recently joined our group from the north. Pregnant females often continue to show monthly swellings, and this one had a very pink posterior. The males on this occasion did not mate her, but they were nevertheless interested. They left Flo, hastened over to the newcomer, inspected her bottom, and began to groom her vigorously. It was only a few minutes later that I noticed Flo. She had moved several yards toward the young female and was standing staring at her with every hair on end. Had she dared, without doubt she would have attacked the newcomer. As it was, she presently walked slowly over to the group and herself inspected the swelling carefully. Then she moved away and sat down to groom Flint. We could scarcely believe it when the following day Flo showed the beginnings of a swelling. Flint was less than two years old, and whereas young females may start swelling again when their infants are only fourteen months, old females like Flo do not normally become pink again for four or five years after giving birth. However, Flo’s sex skin was swollen enough to arouse instant attention from Rodolf, who feverishly pushed her to her feet and intently inspected her bottom. So did two other males. Then they sat around grooming her. The next day that extraordinary swelling had gone – nor did Flo show any signs of swelling again for the next four years. I cannot believe that it was pure coincidence.

When we left – when the potential of the new research buildings dawned on us, when we began to receive letters from students asking if they could join our team – we realized the foolishness of our behavior. The adult male chimpanzee is at least three times stronger than a man; if Figan grew up and realized how much weaker humans really were, he would become dangerous. Moreover, repeated contact with a wild animal is bound to affect its behavior. We made a rule that in the future no student should purposefully make contact with any of the chimpanzees.

The birth of a baby is something of an event in many animal and human societies. In the chimpanzee community, where mothers have infants only once every four and a half to six years, births are relatively few – not more than one or two a year in our group of thirty to forty individuals. So the appearance of a mother with a brand-new baby often stimulates much interest among the other chimps.

Melissa, moving carefully, went to greet Mike, pant-grunting submissively and reaching to touch his side. She presented and he patted her rump, but when he moved forward, staring at Goblin, she hastily moved away. It was the same when she greeted Goliath. He too wanted to see the baby more closely. So did David and so did Rodolf.

Since the experienced female does not run away from them, the other chimpanzees are able to satisfy their curiosity. We have seen a group of four males sitting calmly very close to an old mother and staring fixedly at her newborn.

Possibly Fifi’s relaxed behavior with her elders stemmed from the fact that she enjoyed a particularly friendly relationship with her mother. Flo was more tolerant of her juvenile daughter than Olly was of hers, and far more so than old Marina of her juvenile daughter Miff. Miff was a contemporary of Fifi’s; she had one elder brother and one younger. Their mother appeared to have a very cold disposition indeed. I never saw her playing with Miff, and she seldom played with two-year-old Merlin unless he pestered her to tickle him by continually pulling her hand toward him.

The young juvenile, particularly if her mother has a new infant, has to learn that it is now up to her to keep an eye on her mother and that it is not the other way around as in the past. If she does become accidentally separated, she usually is very upset. Even after Flint’s birth old Flo nearly always waited for Fifi, but once when Fifi was about five and a half she was so busy playing with an infant that she didn’t notice Flo getting up to go. Flo, after looking around many times, gave up and wandered away with Flint. As soon as Fifi realized her mother was no longer in the group she became agitated. Whimpering softly to herself, she rushed up a tall tree and ran from one side to the other, staring across the valley in different directions. Her soft calls of distress became loud grating screams. All at once she swung down and, still crying, hurried along a track. She chose the direction exactly opposite to the one her mother had taken. I followed Fifi. Every so often she climbed a tree and stared all about, and then, with her hair on end, started along the track again, crying and whimpering.

Added to this usually there were two or more infants other than Flint also rushing up to interfere, so that sometimes the mating couple would be almost invisible beneath the cluster of chimpanzees that were all getting in the way.

Once I saw them going off together on the third day of Pooch’s swelling. I followed. When they were about a quarter of a mile from camp they climbed into a tree and groomed each other for over an hour. Then they wandered on, fed for a while, and as dusk fell climbed into another tree and made nests quite close to each other. I did not see them mating at all during that time. The next morning, when I arrived at their sleeping tree at dawn, they mated once before wandering off peacefully together to feed. Six days later Pooch, her swelling shriveled, arrived at the feeding area on her own. About half an hour later Figan appeared, coming from the same direction, but they went off on their separate ways. We noticed that they never returned from such ‘honeymoons’ together – it was as though they didn’t want to be found out! The real reason for the separate return probably lay in the fact that they only started to travel toward camp when Figan was no longer sexually interested in Pooch, and so on the way they had gradually drifted apart.

In some ways Sorema was the most tragic orphan, for she was only just over a year old when her mother died and still almost completely dependent on her for transport, protection, and, most important, food. Solid foods do not start to play an important role in the diet of an infant chimpanzee until it is over two years of age. During the two weeks that Sorema survived her mother she was carried everywhere by her seven-year-old brother Sniff. It was a touching sight to see the juvenile male moving about with his tiny sister, pressing her against his breast with one hand, cuddling and grooming her. When they were in camp Sorema ate a few bananas, but it was milk she needed, and each day she seemed weaker and her eyes looked bigger. Then, one morning, Sniff came into the feeding area cradling her dead body.

I was at the Gombe Stream for several months during 1966 when my own child was on the way and also during the following year when he was with me as a tiny baby. I watched the chimpanzee mothers coping with their infants with a new perspective. From the start Hugo and I had been impressed with many of their techniques, and we made a deliberate resolve to apply some of these to the raising of our own child. First, we determined to give our baby a great deal of physical contact, affection, and play. He was breast-fed, more or less on demand, for a year. He was not left to scream in his crib. Wherever we went we took him with us so that though his environment was often changing, his relationship with his parents remained stable. When we punished him we quickly gave him reassurance through physical contact and, when he was small, we tried to distract him rather than simply prevent him from doing something naughty.

The point at which tool-using and toolmaking, as such, acquire evolutionary significance is surely when an animal can adapt its ability to manipulate objects to a wide variety of purposes, and when it can use an object spontaneously to solve a brand-new problem that without the use of a tool would prove insoluble.

Once David Graybeard caught sight of his reflection in a mirror. Terrified, he seized Fifi, then only three years old. Even such contact with a very small chimp appeared to reassure him; gradually he relaxed and the grin of fear left his face. Humans may sometimes feel reassured by holding or stroking a dog or some other pet in moments of emotional crisis.

She signed off the correct names very fast – but even so, it could be argued that an intelligent dog would ultimately learn to associate the sight of a bowl with a correct response of one scratch on the floor, a shoe with two scratches, and so on. And then a brush was shown to Washoe, and she made the sign for a comb. That to me was very significant. It is the sort of mistake a small child might make, calling a shoe a slipper or a plate a saucer – but never calling a shoe a plate.

Perhaps one of the Gardners’ most fascinating observations concerns the occasion when for the first time Washoe was asked (in sign language) ‘Who is that?’ as she was looking into a mirror. Washoe, who was very familiar with mirrors by that time, signaled back, ‘Me, Washoe.’

Yes, man definitely overshadows the chimpanzee. The chimpanzee is, nevertheless, a creature of immense significance to the understanding of man. Just as he is overshadowed by us, so the chimpanzee overshadows all other animals.

One day, as I sat near him at the bank of a tiny trickle of crystal-clear water, I saw a ripe red palm nut lying on the ground. I picked it up and held it out to him on my open palm. He turned his head away. When I moved my hand closer he looked at it, and then at me, and then he took the fruit, and at the same time held my hand firmly and gently with his own. As I sat motionless he released my hand, looked down at the nut, and dropped it to the ground. At that moment there was no need of any scientific knowledge to understand his communication of reassurance. The soft pressure of his fingers spoke to me not through my intellect but through a more primitive emotional channel: the barrier of untold centuries which has grown up during the separate evolution of man and chimpanzee was, for those few seconds, broken down. It was a reward far beyond my greatest hopes. 

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