Kasakela Chimpanzee Community

The Kasakela chimpanzee community is an inhabited community of wild eastern chimpanzees that lives in Gombe National Park near Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. The community was the subject of Dr. Jane Goodall's pioneering study that began in 1960, and studies have continued ever since. As a result, the community has been instrumental in the study of chimpanzees, and has been popularized in several books and documentaries. The community's popularity was enhanced by Dr. Goodall's practice of giving names to the chimpanzees she was observing, in contrast to the typical scientific practice of identifying the subjects by number. Dr. Goodall generally used a naming convention in which infants were given names starting with the same letter as their mother, allowing the recognition of matrilineal lines.

One of the most important discoveries that was learned by observing the Kasakela chimpanzee community was the use of tools. On November 4, 1960, Dr. Goodall observed a chimpanzee that she had named David Greybeard using a grass stalk as a tool to extract termites from a termite hill. Later, she observed David Greybeard and another chimpanzee named Goliath stripping leaves off twigs to create termite fishing tools. Previously, tool use in chimpanzees was only rarely observed, and tool creation by non-human animals had never been observed. Until then, tool making was considered one of the defining characteristics of being human. Another important observation occurred a few days earlier, on October 30, 1960. On that day Dr. Goodall observed the community's chimpanzees eating meat, dispelling the notion that chimpanzees are vegetarians.

Several families within the Kasakela chimpanzee community have been particularly prominent in books and documentaries. The F-family has produced at least four alpha males for the community, and the matriarch, Flo, played a particularly important role in acknowledging Dr. Goodall's acceptance as a human observer by the community. The G-family has produced at least one alpha male, and also the birth of several twins, which are rare among chimpanzees. There are other families as well which include the T-family and S-family (which has produced one alpha male).

Read more about Kasakela Chimpanzee CommunityAlpha Males, Alpha Females, Other Communities of Chimpanzees At Gombe Stream National Park, Books About The Kasakela Chimpanzee Community, Films About The Kasakela Chimpanzee Community

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