“Coping with new problems seems to be one of the most important cognitive skills needed in the rapidly changing and unnatural environment created by humans. Recently, scientists have shown that mice that live close to humans are better problem solvers and, in at least one species, this is an innate ability that is a result of evolution, instead of something they learned during life.”
Everyone interested in animal behaviour probably have heard about Jane Goodall – a primatologist that for years studied wild chimpanzees in Africa. I think she was the first scientist to actually go to know wild animals by observing them for hours each day, being with them and making friends with them.
Recently I’ve read a short autobiographic book by Jane Goodall “My life with the chimpanzees” (last updated in 1996). It is a very interesting book. Goodall describes her childhood in England (pre and during the second world war), her fascination with nature, and especially African animals. Her dream of working with them one day. And her (sometimes detour) route to actually first encountering chimpanzees and to making friends with them. She also tells stories from the lives of these animals. Their families’ happy and dramatic moments. At the end she also includes a call for action directed mainly to younger readers, but not only, to care about nature and animals.
It is a very interesting and inspiring book. I’m definitely going to read more of Jane Goodall’s work.