Jane Goodall is famous for her work with primates. She is responsible for many of the detailed observations that we have about the social and family environments of chimpanzees. Goodall took her work work very seriously and although she was often criticized for her methods, there is no denying the fact that she was very effective at her work. Here are some important facts about Jane Goodall that you may not have known.
1. She Named All of Her Animals
Many researchers will simply assign numbers to the animals they are researching. Goodall believed in a more personal touch. If the chimpanzees were social creatures that thrived in a family environment, then to her, it made sense to name them all. So that’s what she did, even though naming animals often leads people to become more attached to them.
2. She Discovered Hidden Talents
Science has always considered the primates as some of the closest creatures to humanity that the world has to offer. Their levels of intelligence were already known before Goodall began her observations. People knew, for example, that chimpanzees were smart enough to be able to use tools to complete specific tasks. What Goodall discovered, however, was that chimpanzees were even smarter than previously though. Not only could they use tools, but they could make the tools they needed as well.
3. Straight to the Top
Goodall attended Cambridge University and graduated in 1965. What makes her unique in the educational world is that she didn’t receive the stage degrees before receiving her doctorate. She does not hold a master’s or a bachelor’s degree. Her one and only degree is her doctorate in ethology and this unique perspective on life would lead her to make some of the world’s first observations about chimpanzees, such as their altruism as they adopt orphaned infants that may be unrelated to them.
4. Accused of Plagiarism
In 2013, Jane Goodall was about to release a book about the wonder and wisdom that can be found in the world of plants. According to research that was published by The Washington Post, Goodall had taken several passages from common websites, like Wikipedia, and included them as her own content within the pages of her book. She apologized for the oversight in including content that was borrowed, but the damage to her reputation had already be completed.
5. Not a Vegetarian
Maybe the most profound discovery that Goodall was able to make was to see chimpanzees eating meat. Before her observation of this fact, scientists believed that chimpanzees were strictly vegetarians and wouldn’t go hunting at all.
Jane Goodall has had her fair share of criticism over the years, some of it rightly so. Her body of work, however, stands for itself. She helped our world see what the world of the chimpanzee is all about and that has helped us to understand these unique creatures like never before.