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THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE GREAT APES BASED ON THE STUDIES OF

THREE FEMALE SCIENTISTS
Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Orangutans
ABSTRACT
In 1971, three female researcher Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Birute
Galdikas were the so-called Trimates understudies of the renowned Louis
Leakey to research the “last arboreal great ape left” on the Earth. Dian Fossey
were studied on Gorillas, Goodall on chimpanzees and Galdikas on orangutans.
Their study was done in natural environments, which emphasized patient
observation over long periods of time to both social groups and individual
animals. It changed not only how their subject (primates) as a species were
understood, but also how studies of many different kinds of animals were
carried out. Their study covered the life cycle of the great apes from birth to
death.
Key words: Trimates, Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Birute Galdikas, Gorillas,
Chimpanzeees, Orang Utan
INTRODUCTION
The Trimates, sometimes called Leakey's Angels, is a name given to three
women; Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birutė Galdikas was sent by
anthropologist Louis Leakey to study primates (great apes) in their natural
environments. Great ape (Hominidae) form a taxonomic family of primates,
including four extant genera: the chimpanzees (Pan) with 2 species; gorillas
(Gorilla) with 2 species; humans (Homo) with 1 species; and orangutans
(Pongo) with 2 species. So all these three scientist were study on great apes
where Dian Fossey were study on Gorillas, Goodall on chimpanzees and
Galdikas on orangutans.
Dian Fossey (1932-1985) was an American zoologist, primatologist and
anthropologist who study the endangered group of gorillas group of the
Rwandan mountain forest from 1960s to 1980s almost 18 years before her
unsolved murder occurred in 1985. She starts interested to study primates
during her trip to Africa 1963. The journey was then recorded in her book
Gorillas in the Mist (1983) then adapted to movie.

1934 is a primatologist most known for her long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Jane Goodall. It was believe that she was the first primatologist to witness the birth of a wild orangutan. Leakey’s Angels. Her methods of studying animals in the wild. primatologist. conservationist. She has work closely and studies behavior. (Montgomery. from right to left. Germany. ecology and evolution of the red-haired Asian ape called orangutans in their natural habitat. Birute Galdikas is an anthropologist. 1991) and is today the world's foremost authority on the orangutan. ethologist and author were born in 1946 in Wiesbaden. Dian Fossey. Jane Goodall was born on April 3. which occurred high in a tree. and Biruté Galdikas METHODS OF STUDY Chimpanzees In order to understand more about chimpanzees.Dr. which emphasized patient observation over long periods of time of both social groups and individual animals. is the world’s longest running continuous wildlife research project. Jane Goodall studying in free-ranging chimpanzees at Gombee for almost fifty years. but also how . changed not only how chimpanzees (a kind of ape) as a species are understood. she has become equally well known as a conservationist and a champion of human rights. The Gombe chimp observation. Through her Jane Goodall Institute. which Jane began in 1960.

studies of many different kinds of animals are carried out. She mimicking their behavior in order convinced them to let down their guard.S. Karisimbi.” She lived among the mountain gorillas for nearly 20 years keeping detailed journals to record everything she observed. 1967. Her study covered the life cycle of chimpanzees form birth to death. merging the names of the two volcanoes to create the name “Karisoke. Gorilla Dian Fossey undertook an extensive study of mountain gorillas over a period of 18 years. which are unique in shape and wrinkle patterns for each individual. Fossey began her long-term study of mountain gorillas in 1966. Fossey tracked the distances they traveled each day. and investigated their vocalization patterns. eventually establishing her “Karisoke” Research Center camp on Sept. Dian fossey forging close relationships with individual gorillas ( Brown. in an area between Mt.. Once the gorillas became familiar with Fossey. Orangutans . Visoke and Mt. and forging close relationships with individual gorillas as she gained their trust. 24. C.2014). She began to differentiate between gorillas based on their noses. they let her study them more closely.

C. Yet. stripped off the leaves and poked this tool into a termite mound to get termites. J. S. her initial frustrations began to melt away. she would maintain a steady gaze on her subjects.Birute Galdikas climbed out of a sampan in 1971 and settled in an abandoned forester's hut in Borneo's nature reserve of Tanjung Puting" (Spalding. she spotted two chimps (David Graybeard and Goliath) squatting on a termite mound. despite the literally backbreaking conditions. . 1963). (Goodall. Like Goodall and Fossey before her. As she learned more about the alluring apes. Birute Galdiskas would start at the nest and resume her observations. During her time in Gombe Reserve 1960. 1998). (Brown. David picked up a small twig. Galdikas named each orangutan she studied and kept a running inventory of individuals. 2004 ). Jane Goodall had observed behavior that went against a belief strongly held by archaeologist: that only human used tools. she relentlessly followed the ape around until it made a nest to sleep in for the night and the next day. Galdikas has currently spent twenty-five years in the rain forests of Indonesia. RESULT AND DISCUSSION Chimpanzees Using Tools and Manufacture Tools Within four months. Whenever She spot a Orangutans. Dr. and Galdikas often developed a neck crick from looking up into the trees at all times. Her investigations led her through thick rainforest and waist-high swamps.

Social System Goodall also has made a significant observation on social interaction and hierarchies of chimpanzees. Only rarely do these conflict results in serious wounds. they lived in social group within which each individual know each other.Chimpanzee fishing for termites (Source: New Scientist) She also found that when chimpanzees find water in a tree hollow that they can't reach with their lips. according to Jane (1979) in her article Life and Death at Gombe found that fight between individuals of neighboring communities may be characterized by extreme brutality and may occasionally lead to deaths. ( Goodall. 2010) Goodall also found that the chimpanzees also perform a social aggression where the chimpanzees adhere to social hierarchies within their communities’ hierarchies that are often determined through belligerence and violence. They also use leaves as napkin to dab blood or wipe away dirt from the body. This kind of behavior suggests that chimpanzees perform close. with single alpha male and several females. crumple them to make a sponge and they can dip into the hollow and suck out the liquid. 2010). scattered group of a community maintain contact with each other through their calls. ( Goodall. back and head pats and tickling. but while spend much time together. threatening gestures and calls are more frequent in animals than are actual physical fights. The chimpanzees had a personality and were capable of thinking and feel the emotions like joy or sorrow. However. loyal and sometimes life-long relationship between family members or other individual within a community. This can be prove with the situations where Goodall witnessed a dominant female kill younger female and even practicing cannibalism in order to maintain their dominance. In fact. . Prior to goodall's studies. others meet but seldom. However fight between members of the same community may look ferocious. According to Jane Goodall. and only last more than a minute. However. they chew a few leaves. This is certainly true in chimpanzee’s society. kisses. J. The small. it was assumed that chimpanzees lived in harems. chimpanzees also demonstrate a “human” gesture such as hugging. J.

Almost impossible for human to get near their habitats. She also found that chimps had systematic hunting methods and would eat not just insects but even smaller primates such as colobus monkey. (Goodall. For a long time. there was a very little information about mountain gorillas who live at altitude between 7. She revealed that the mountain gorillas have families. All this great finding help people start to understand a real life of gorillas.000 to 14. . The male and female gorillas really have a strong bond. 1971). and when a kill is made. the mother gorilla shares a strong relationship with the offspring.She also discovered that chimp life wasn’t always peaceful. J. According to Jane Goodall (1979). which banished the popular belief that chimps were vegetarians. Jane and her colleagues discovered that bands of rival chimpanzees sometimes ganged up on their neighbors to kill them. which only ended when one group had been wiped out.000 feet. Diet and Feeding Goodall also recorded that the chimpanzees ate meat. adults may share the prize with one another and with offsprings. Gorilla Social System According to Dian Fossey gorillas are not monsters but social beings full of curiosity and affection. In early 1974. Jane found that some female chimps would kill other chimps’ babies in their own troops. This was the first record of long-term warfare in nonhuman primates. an act called "infantacide". She also discovered that raiding silverbacks would sometimes kill the infants of a raided group so mothers can have his offspring. Just as saddening. anyhow female will transfer to other group when the male member of a group dies. a four-year "war" began at Gombe. the chimpanzees may show cooperation when hunting for food. Like humans.

And “close” call that include both "syllabled" and "non-syllabled" calls such as "train-grunts" and "dog whines" (Fossey. 1978). She also providing unprecedented detail about orangutan . According to Orangutan Foundation International. First pregnancy has been observed in several females and comes at approximately 12 years of age (Galdikas. In her research. Galdikas was the first to document the long orangutan birth interval. One is consortship and one is forced copulation (Galdikas. include “copulatory grunts” and “whimpers” during copulation. (Fossey. “whines” and “whimpers” by infants. but Dian Fossey was successfully winning the trust of the gorillas not only as an observer but as a member of the family. 1972) Orangutans Social System Dr. Birute Galdikas in her research was helped scientist to elucidate the nature of orangutan mating system.7 years at Tanjung Puting. B. 1981). their vocalization including some startling deep belching noise. 2008) Cognition and communication According to Fossey's studies. she found that there are two tactics that orangutans employ. “intense” and “mild cough grunt” during mild threat displays. D. Within -group calls. D. vocal communication among gorillas is important in within-group interactions as well as extra-group interaction.Adult male gorillas are known as silverbacks due to the characteristic silver hair on their backs reaching to the hips (Source: Wikipedia) Most of the researcher might only see a glimpse of their fur or their hand. She elicits the gorilla’s confidence and curiosity by acting like a gorilla. Imitated their feeding and grooming. B. which average 7. “play chuckles” during play.

com) Galdikas had overturned a hypothesis of early researchers that orangutans were exclusively solitary animals. B. Galdikas and her team have contributed to veterinary medical knowledge about orangutans. showing markedly reduced proceptivity and reduced nonsexual gregariousness (Galdikas. 1978). however the range of adult were complex.ecology and also helped elucidate the nature of orangutan mating system. while others are more nomadic. including treatment for malaria. but then she found that orangutans actually demonstrate dynamic social behavior when they are young. Camp Leakey Orangutan Rehabilitation Center run by Galdikas (indonesianmatters. Galdikas (1978) reported female ranges of 5 to 6 km2 at Tanjung Puting. unlike chimpanzees and gorillas. developing loner tendencies only as they getting older. Cognition and communication . She also studied their migration patterns and discovered that some populations remain in a home area. tapeworm parasites and throat-pouch infections. The females usually become considerably less socialable. There were three males occupying overlapping ranges and their ranges also overlapped home ranges of several females. Where they spent most of their time. The two “most observed” females used core ares of 2 – 3 km2.

Territorial call is to identify the male's location. This vocalization is composed of a series of grumblings and bellowings. Primates also have advanced cognitive abilities: some make tools and use them to acquire food and for social displays which had been discovered by Jane Goodall on her study of Chimpanzees. posture. C. CONCLUSION Primate is mammal. forming pairs or family groups. 2004 ). attraction call is to attract receptive females/ repel rival males and the community call is social signal to coordinate seasonal movements for food resources. much more on termites and less on bark. uni-male harems. Primates are among the most social of animals. Birute Galdikas has recorded over 400 types of food consumed by orangutans. Diet and Feeding Dr. which can last over four minutes in duration. Orangutans. It is thought the call serves several functions. Galdikas (1978) reported that four adult males at Tanjung Puting differed from four adult females by feeding more on fruit. which closely related to human. movement. S. like most great apes. and may be differ base on sexes. facial expressions. (Brown. . and external objects such as tree branches are often used in visual communication. Visual communication may involve the whole body.One of the best-known orangutan vocalizations is the long call produced from adult males. are highly visual in nature and use a variety of visual expressions to communicate. and multi-male/multi-female groups.

Prior to this.S. “More Years with Mountain Gorillas. Goodall observed other chimpanzees picking up leafy twigs. They will break off a tree branch that is about 30 cm long. stripping off the leaves and using the stems to fish for insects. scientists thought that only humans manufactured and used tools. Soon after her initial discovery of tool use. (2014). Jane Goodall: Biography of a Primatologist. This change of a leafy twig into a tool was a major discovery.Tool manufacture is much rare than simple tool use and probably represents higher cognitive functioning. . and that this ability was what separated humans from other animals. Fossey. (1971). All these great finding by “trimates” on behavior of great apes. fray one end and then use the stick to dig in tree holes for termites. showed that the primates do perform and act accordingly like a human. REFERENCES Brown. Newsela. Chimpanzees have also been observed making "sponges" out of leaves and moss that suck up water and are used as grooming tools. We should thank to this trimates for their “sacrifices” by spend all their lives in forest just to study primates and enlighten us with their great finding about the great apes. D. Sumatran orangutans also have been observed making and using tools.” National Geographic 140: 574–585. C. snap off the twigs.

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