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Happy Birthday, Jane Goodall!

Famed scientist Jane Goodall celebrated her 90th birthday in April.

Jane Goodall smiles at the camera as she sits on the ground with a chimpanzee.

Fernando Turmo/The Jane Goodall Institute

Jane Goodall poses with a chimpanzee named Le Vieille.

Jane Goodall has spent her life connecting with and learning about the natural world. When Goodall turned 90, on April 3, 2024, she had a message of hope for our planet and all living things.

Goodall first became famous for her observations of chimpanzees in the wild. Beginning in 1960, Goodall saw chimpanzees using tools to get their food, lovingly holding their babies, and, at times, fighting each other. She concluded that these animals were far more intelligent and complicated than people had assumed. Since then, scientists have drawn similar conclusions about many other species. Over the years, Goodall began to focus on protecting animals and their habitats, or the places where they live.

Today, Goodall continues this work, along with the Jane Goodall Institute, which she founded in 1977. The institute helps not just animals but people as well. As Goodall says, “Everything’s connected.” People, animals, and the environment affect each other. They also need each other.

Jane Goodall speaks in front of a large audience.

Ramon Van Flyman—ANP/Alamy

Goodall travels around the world, speaking to the public about the need to protect our planet and all its living things.

Goodall used her 90th birthday as an opportunity to remind people about the importance of connecting with nature, especially as we work to slow climate change.

“I always encourage people to become involved in some project they care about, whatever it happens to be,” Goodall said in a video released by Rivian, a company that makes electric cars. “That begins to give you hope. Hope is about taking action to make the world a better place.”

NEWS EXTRA!

Puppy Party!

Jane Goodall is licked by a dog as she sits on a beach to pose for a photo along with many other people and their dogs.

© Greg Smith—The Leakey Foundation (https://leakeyfoundation.org/)

Dogs are Jane Goodall’s favorite animal. So organizers invited 90 dogs and their humans to Goodall’s 90th birthday party in Carmel, California!

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Did You Know?

Launched by Jane Goodall in 1991, the Roots & Shoots program gives kids around the world the opportunity to create and work on projects that help the environment in their local communities and beyond.

Children and teens watch as Jane Goodall digs a hole next to a tree sapling.

Chris Dickinson/The Jane Goodall Institute

Get to Know Chimpanzees!

A chimpanzee places a stick into a hole in a tree trunk.

© Mark Higgins/Dreamstime.com

Scientists all over the world continue to learn about chimpanzees. Here are some facts that may surprise you!

  • They’re our cousins. Along with another ape called the bonobo, the chimpanzee is the closest living relative of humans.
  • They’re pretty handy. Jane Goodall discovered that chimpanzees can use tools, as seen in the photo above. Since then, scientists have found that other animals, such as crows and octopuses, can also use tools.
  • They use medicine. Chimpanzees are among the species that have been seen using plants to heal their wounds. Scientists have also observed chimpanzees applying crushed insects to wounds on themselves and each other.
  • They don’t talk, but they communicate. Chimpanzees seem to have their own language. Scientists have recorded 400 different screams that could be similar to words that are deliberately put together in a certain order.

More About Jane

CSU Archives—Everett Collection/Alamy

Happy birthday, Jane Goodall! You can learn more about the life of this famous scientist at Britannica.

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Word of the Day

interdependent

Part of speech:

adjective

Definition:

: related in such a way that each needs or depends on the other : mutually dependent

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