Thanks to CSNW board member Elizabeth List, J.B. and I recently had the opportunity to see Jane Goodall give a presentation to a small group of people hosted by the Seattle Foundation.
Here is Elizabeth and Dr. Goodall (you may be able to tell from this photo that Elizabeth was pretty excited to share a stage with Jane):
And here we are, in case you didn’t believe me:
Like many other devoted fans, we’ve met Dr. Goodall several times over the years and have seen her speak in very diverse venues, and she never fails to be truly inspirational. She’s a force for good in this world. Her legacy reaches every corner of the earth, in both big and small ways. She is a groundbreaking animal behavior scientist, a role model for girls and women, and a voice of both compassion and reason in matters concerning the environment and animals.
In my world, her influence is present nearly everyday because she literally wrote the book on chimpanzee behavior. When we describe chimpanzee facial expressions, vocalizations, social interactions, and all other behavior, we are most often using the terminology that developed from the hours upon hours that Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees in their natural habitat. She published papers and books that proceeded it, but the quintessential academic book on chimpanzee behavior, that every primatologist has on their bookshelves, is called The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior.
I could say that this blog post is a nod to Jane Goodall’s work, but really almost all of our blog posts, and, indeed, the sanctuary itself, in the big picture, is thanks to Jane Goodall and her work that allowed us all a glimpse into the world of our closest living relatives.
As I’ve written before on this blog – my favorite chimpanzee facial expression is, as Jane Goodall named it, “relaxed face with drooped lip.”
Among all of the chimpanzees who I have worked directly for over the years, there is no one that illustrates that face better than Jody. Here are two photos that J.B. took of Jody demonstrating the perfect relaxed face with drooped lip: