Monday, October 25, 2010
When she started out studying chimpanzees in Tanganyika, Jane Goodall didn't have a graduate degree in animal behavior. She didn't even have an undergraduate degree: she'd just graduated from secretarial school. But in her first few weeks of observing the chimps, she "she made three observations that rattled the comfortable wisdoms of physical anthropology: meat eating by chimps (who had been presumed vegetarian), tool use by chimps (in the form of plant stems probed into termite mounds), and toolmaking (stripping leaves from stems), supposedly a unique trait of human premeditation. Each of those discoveries further narrowed the perceived gap of intelligence and culture between Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes.
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