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Chimpanzees Are Individuals


Flo (1929-1972) and Fifi (1958-2004)

When Dr. Jane Goodall first met Flo, she was already an old female. Flo was easy for Dr. Goodall to pick out of a group of chimpanzees. She appeared to be very old and frail with thinning hair, teeth worn down to the gums, a huge bulbous nose and ragged ears. However, appearances can be deceiving because Flo was actually outgoing, tough and aggressive. Among the members of her community, Flo was a high ranking female who was confident and relaxed with high-ranking males that intimidated other females.

The matriarch of a large family, three sons and two daughters, Flo could often be seen traveling the forest with a shy and nervous older female, Olly, and their offspring. She was a tolerant, assuring and relaxed mother. Flo often joined in the frolicking play of her youngsters. A typical family scene would find Flo lying on her back with one foot suspended in the air, dangling her infant, as she tickled its neck and groin with her fingers.

Flo's family gained an advantage from her high ranking position and her strong character. In early adolescence, Flo's son, Figan, began to challenge other young males for higher rank. Flo supported his cause and through a series of battles, Figan dominated all the young males. In his next conquest, Figan was joined by his brother, Faben. Together, the brothers were victorious over all the adult males and Figan attained the status of the most dominant male or alpha male. Flo's early collaborative support with her son surely taught Figan the benefit of strong family ties.

Flo and her daughter, Fifi, contributed to our knowledge of chimpanzee maternal care. Like her mother, Fifi, was a warm, playful, and patient mother. The strong family bonds between Flo, her sons and one surviving daughter continued into her old age. When she died, Flo, was eulogized in Britain's Sunday Times.


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Chimpanzee Learning Cards

A.

ChimpanZoo Learning Cards
1.
Origins and Habitat of Chimpanzees

2.

Chimpanzee Social Groups
3.
Chimpanzees Living in Zoos
4.
Infancy and Childhood
5.
Chimpanzee Adolescence and Gender Specific Roles
6.
The Importance of Mothering
7.
Mothering and Play
8.
Play
9.
Depression
10.
Dominance Displays
11.
Submission
12.
Contact
13.
Grooming
14.
Food
15.
Territorial Behavior
16.
Chimpanzees Are a Lot Like Us
17.
Communication
18.
Chimpanzees Are Individuals
19.
Mike's Ingenious Idea
20.
Mike (1938-1975)
21.
Mike the Alpha Male
22.
The Human Threat to Wild Chimpanzees
23.
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
24.
The Jane Goodall Institute
25. Books by Jane Goodall
26. Bibliography

 

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