Over the course of her 55-year career studying chimpanzees, Dr. Jane Goodall has established herself as one of the foremost primatologists in the world and has helped us understand the mysterious world of chimp behavior and society. We sat down with the legendary scientist to ask her a few questions about her life and work.
1. Out of all the species in the world, what drew you to researching chimps?
I originally wanted to study horseshoe crabs, but it was a real pain in the ass to find parking at the beach, so I wound up heading to the jungle, which had a ton of space for my car. I’ll probably swing back by the beach a little bit later, though, to see if things have cleared up so I can finally look at some horseshoe crabs, which remain my true passion.
2. What makes humans different from chimpanzees?
Humans made The Sopranos, ushering in an era of prestige TV drama that chimps couldn’t begin to comprehend. Before that, however, we were essentially the same.
3. Do you have a favorite chimpanzee that you studied over the years?
While I love all of my chimps equally, I’ve always had a soft spot for a special little guy named Regis Philbin, a belligerent dumbass who the other chimps like to throw rocks at. I named this particular chimp Regis Philbin because he was always trying to climb into my tent and give me a million dollars.
4. What was the most remarkable discovery you ever made about chimpanzees?
One time I gave a chimpanzee a big old brick and the chimpanzee kissed the brick 100 times and then threw the brick at the head of a rival chimp. This was how I learned that chimpanzees were remarkable enough to both fall in love with a brick and use that very same brick as a weapon to kill their enemies.
5. What would you say is the Jane Goodall Institute’s main objective?
It is to prove, through imperative scientific evidence, that monkeys can also lay big eggs like the birds do. My life’s dream is to eat a big monkey egg and get sick from it, and the first step is to prove through meticulous scientific research that monkeys lay enormous eggs just like birds.