Note From Bridge: Here is a sample of how notebook page should look. I encourage you to make lots of additions, but the headings listed on this page are the minimum requirements. Personalize this page and make it your own as your scientific view reporting and sharing information with others.


Animal: Chimpanzee
Research Location: Gombe National Park, Tanzania, Africa

Why This Animal?

The chimpanzee is one of the most interesting animals to me. I find them so intriguing because of their intelligence and similarities to humans. A lot of human behaviors I have observed from my classroom students, people watching in public places, and from psychology classes, I have also observed in chimpanzee communities.
Chimpanzees are also really fun to watch during play and to watch the social network of the communities. I am truly fascinated with their community structure and how they have a leader. This further leads to how truly intelligent they are to be able to recognize and respect a leader.

Food Web

Research Location

My research location is the Gombe National Park on the western edge of Tanzania, Africa. Jane Goodall began her research here and I am visiting her campsite. The Gombe National Park is part of the tropical seasonal forest biome, which is a cross between a tropical rain forest and the savanna. It is warm here. They tell me that the average temperature is usually over 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It feels humid and sticky here. This area received rain the night before and is expected to receive more rain tonight. Gombe receives about 170 cm in rainfall.
As I begin taking in my surroundings on a Jeep tour of the area, I am in awe of the tree structures around me! To me, the acacia tree is so symbolic of Africa. The tree gives off a delicate feel with the extremely intricate branching systems. Up ahead, I even see a small heard of giraffes stretching their long necks up to graze on the leaves of the acacia tree.
Chimpanzees are very well suited for the forest environment. They have a heavy dependence on trees. Chimpanzees use tress for shelter at night when they make nests in the trees. They also use branches from trees as a tool to help them “fish” for termites and army ants. The chimpanzee also has an important niche in the ecosystem of the forest. As chimpanzees feed on fruits in the forest, they drop and leave seeds throughout the forest helping to repopulate the fruit plants in the forest.

Wildlife Research Technique
I used a variety of research techniques to help me to understand the chimpanzee better. I used video observations and family tree creation to help understand the familiy structure of the chimpanzee. Video cameras were set around the camp in several locations to catch glimpses of chimpanzee behavior and to observe the family structure.

Observation Journal

Day 1-
It is still unreal to me that I am actually here in this environment. I am completely cut off from the rest of the world, yet I have a whole new world in front of me and I am thoroughly taking in every aspect of it. The chimpanzee in front of me is an older chimpanzee mother who has one baby. One of the unique features of the chimpanzees is that the babies have lighter skinned faces than their older parents. The young chimp hangs on the parent’s front clinging to the longer brownish hair of the parent as the parent carries the young around. When the chimpanzee lumbers around, it uses its muscular front arms to move herself forward pressing her knuckles in to the ground with each step. Its much shorter back legs create a triangle shape as she moves. The mother is very caring to their young and the watches every movement of the mother with great intent. The mother carefully grooms her child by picking through the hair and removing any bugs or debris down the head and back.

Day 3
Today I observed a mutualistic relationship between the chimpanzee and the baboon. The chimpanzee initiated a game of tag with a younger baboon. The game quickly escalated as it moved up into the trees. The chimp and baboon swung and jumped so rapidly from branch to branch chasing each other, it made it difficult to keep up with. The chimpanzee’s hands (which I love to watch) quickly grab each branch to get himself higher and higher in the tree. The chimp uses every aspect of their hand and fingers to propel themselves forward. Their loud verbalizations back and forth with the baboon reminded me of kids on a play ground. As they “yell,” their lips protrude out and then pull back to expose their teeth. The sounds they make are really hard to describe. Eventually the baboon “won” the game, when the chimpanzee fell from the upper branches. Luckily, the chimp caught himself on a lower branch before he crashed in to the ground.
Day 5
Luckily on my last day here, I was able to witness the observation that made Jane Goodall famous. I watched a young chimpanzee climb up into a tree above a termite mound. The chimp sat on a branch and snapped off a small tree limb and stripped the leaves off of the branch. Then, the chimp slowly lowered itself over the mound still holding onto the branch with one arm and one leg. The chimp then slowly stuck the branch into one of the holes in the termite mound and removed it with many termites attached. Then, the chimp feasted on its catch. It was such an amazing sight to see the chimpanzee use the tool to help feed themselves. Luckily, the forest hosts many termite mounds for the chimpanzees to feed on. But, chimpanzees are omnivores, feeding on both meat and plants. But the forest also is home to many of fruit, plants, and bark that chimpanzees love to feed on. The chimps get much of its water from fruit but will also take drinks from the fresh water streams and lakes around the park, which I observed as I followed the termite-feasting chimp to a small waterfall where he washed down his feast.

Food Web

  • Use Word, Powerpoint, or Inspiration (available in the library)

Using the Research
  • Any product idea that further shares your knowledge about limiting factors effecting your animal
    • For example, letters to a colleague about limiting factors you are observing, children's book to raise awareness, photo story, a persuasive essay,'s the limit, any and many ideas are available as long as you are raising awareness about limiting factors effect the animal you have chosen.
  • I created a ZooBurst -3-D pop-up book -

Fellow Researcher Profile

What I've learned from them:

I have learned so much from Jane Goodall! The main thing I have learned from her is appreciation for the world around us. In 1960, Jane had the amazing opportunity to travel to Gombe National Park to study an animal that she had never even seen before. Yet, she did not let that discourage her. She had a job where she literally got to sit every day and observe the world around her. Her discoveries helped to open up the world of animal research for a whole new generation of people, including me! Jane was so amazing to me because she had no real science background, other than her own curiousity, yet made a discovery that would change the world.
Her greatest discovery of chimpanzees shared with the rest of the world the fact that chimpanzees use tools to help feed themselves. If anything, I believe that this helped to raise awareness about how truly connected everything in the world is. Humans use tools and so do chimpanzees! What a great realization and connection! Jane Goodall's greatest impact on me is her determination to share and encourage others realize these connections in our world to help make positive, not negative impacts. It is my goal as a teacher to help students make similar realizations that even though the world is huge, we still need to honor and respect the natural world.


Shefferly, N. 2005. "Pan troglodytes" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 27, 2011

Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees. Dir. David Lickley. SlingShot Entertainment, 2002. Film.

"DISCOVER CHIMPANZEES!" U of M: College of Biological Sciences: Center for Primate Studies - Jane Goodall Institute. Science Museum of Minnesota, 2005. Web. 01 Feb. 2011. <>.