Sunday, April 23, 2017

Meet our chimps: The One Where Lesley’s Infant Gets a Name

The “Meet our chimps” mini-series closes with adult female Lesley and her infant daughter – whom we also want to name with you!

Adult female Lesley is none of our most memorable and special chimps. She has a friendly face with a slightly reddish pigmentation, cute pointy ears, some balding, and a strong body. Although that’s not something very special for females with dependent offsprings, she seems to be a bit less gregarious (i.e., social) than other members of her group. She is more often seen alone with her infant or in smaller groups with just another adult, not in the big traveling or feeding parties.

Her already big infant daughter makes the most of this situation, plays and investigates on her own whenever she gets the chance – and provided that mom is still close. This little girl is one of the few infants overall at Chimp&See that has been matched on her own due to a defining trait: the small scar or dent at her right eyebrow. Usually, we can only match the infants because we can identify their mothers. She is special in that regard and that’s why we wanted to present her here and use the opportunity to let use choose a name for this little girl!

To go with her mother’s name and our brief thoughts about sociality in this posting, we decided to go with another pop-culture theme, the great 90ies TV show “Friends”. So, growing up, do you think she will be perfectionist and bossy like Monica, eccentric like Phoebe, or always emotionally outpouring like Rachel? Please vote here

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chimp&See at the March for Science Leipzig

The MPI-EVA was well represented at the March for Science in Leipzig today and we even did some Chimp&See outreach that made it to the local paper! We were 1300 strong at our march and were humbled to be part of the worldwide peaceful protest :D

If you marched today we hope you had a great and safe march! #ScienceIsForEveryone

Meet our chimps: Nuka-Taka

Today we have a TON to celebrate: 

* The 2 year anniversary of Chimp&See 🐵🎉
* Earth Day 🌍 and
* the March for Science ⛓

Thank you so much for all your volunteer time on for the past 2 years! Our incredible success is ALL thanks to YOU!

Today's Meet our Chimps focuses on chimpanzee Nuka-Taka:

We try to avoid this expression, but let’s face it: this chimp has an egg-head. We recognized this young male immediately because of his coned-shaped head, the orderly laid hair, and small ears, which together form a very distinct head and face. He seems to be younger than the other adult males, but is a full adult with a muscular upper body. For some time, we thought that we might have a second male with similar traits, but the small ear damage that “both” share made it clear that we have only one new chimp here: Nuka-Taka (both names – combined in the final match – by hoothoot). For the initial matching mistake we have to blame the sunlight. Face color and size/form of the nostrils vary greatly depending on the light situation, which makes it harder to compare finer details in chimp faces.

Nuka-Taka is seen in big parties with females and kids, but also in only male parties. Although confidently walking with the big males, he gets nervous when something happens. His “insecure” face expression looks sometimes a bit comical and increased our love for him considerably. But – as you can see in the video below – Nuka-Taka is also a guy who gives a hug, when it is needed.

Classifications at Restless Star are already finished, but we still have open matching discussions and want to identify and name more chimps.

If you want to get involved and see African wildlife from camera traps yourself, please come over to Chimp&See!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Meet our chimps: Yeye

At first, we totally got this chimp wrong. Sure, the match was without any doubt: we identified a young chimp (young adult / late adolescent) with an unusual light face that we’ve seen several times in different chimp parties. Because of the sturdy built, a robust upper body, and angular face, we thought it is a young male – and were mistaken. Fortunately, before naming this guy, we’ve seen the body from the side view and could see a female swelling.

Our long-term volunteer Boleyn proposed this match and named her Yeye. “This means he/she in Swahili. They do not make a difference and I think that fits her very well since I thought at first it was a young male.”

Yeye is still young and might not have reached full adult size by now, but she started cycling and we’ve seen her several times fully swollen (a sure sign for adulthood in females). She is very often seen with her BFF Jazz, another young female with a beautiful dark face.

Classifications at Restless Star are already finished, but we still have open matching discussions and want to identify and name more chimps.

If you want to get involved and see African wildlife from camera traps yourself, please come over to Chimp&See!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

***Updated!*** Meet our chimps: Pandora and [we need a name!]

Next up on our “Meet our chimps” series is a very special pair: adult female Pandora and her infant boy – whom we want to name here with you!

Pandora has a dark face and overall dark hair. She has a triangular bald spot above the rounded eyebrows and a slightly gray beard. Her infant is always carried on her back. His pronounced key hole-formed face and the big nostrils make him super adorable. Pandora and her littlun are always curious and very interested in the camera. They are the chimps who most often not only recognize and react to the camera, but getting very close to investigate thoroughly.

Pandora has been named by our volunteer hoothoot who said: “I would like to name her Pandora as she seems very curious. :) My biggest hope for her is that she won't repeat the mistake of her namesake and thus will stay away from tempting boxes or other things which could harm her and her family.” At least for our field season, we can exclude that any harm happened to them and for sure nothing came “out” of our camera traps!

As classification at the site has finished, we are starting to name the infants of clearly identified females. Pandora’s infant is first and we decided to go with a magical “Harry Potter” theme and want to let you decide: Should the infant's name be: Harry, Ron, or Draco? Please vote here until Saturday (April 22nd)!

*** Update (April 23, 2017) ***

Thanks for voting in the infant naming poll and welcome Draco! We got 44 votes and closed now the poll. Almost half of your votes went to Draco, leaving Ron and especially Harry far away from any interference here. This huge majority vote was somehow unexpected, but you’re right: Draco is the perfect name for this curious and decisive little chimp.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Chimp&See Science Team "Ask Us Anything" April 25th

To commemorate the 2nd anniversary of, the Chimp&See science team will host a special “Ask Us Anything” (AUA) event that will be held on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 at

Members of the science team will be online between 4 and 6 p.m. UTC to answer all the questions you might have about the project, its research questions, field work, preliminary results, lessons learned, and future directions. We're also happy to discuss our research, conservation and field experience so go ahead and Ask Us Anything :) To learn more about the science team beforehand, check out our Introductions, the PanAfrican Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee Website and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology website

For easier access, here again the scheduled time for the event (attention: it’s daylight saving time on the Northern hemisphere!): 4 p.m. UTC (Coordinated universal time is not on summer / daylight saving time!)

- 5 p.m. BST (London) 
- 6 p.m. CEST (Leipzig / Berlin) 
- 12 p.m. EDT (New York) 
- 9 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles) 
- 2 a.m. AEST – (Melbourne. Sorry, it’s very early!)

The board will open on April 25th a few hours before the AUA starts so that you can post questions before the event starts if you want. If we don't get to your question during the AUA we will be sure to get to it in the days that follow and, of course, you can always ask chimp-related and other questions at the regular “Questions for the science team” board

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Meet our chimps: Waldemar

This brief series, marking the 2nd anniversary of Chimp&See, will introduce you to some of the most remarkable chimps at our recent Restless Star site in East Africa. They are members of the Eastern chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii and live at this site in a mountainous environment along with gorillas and elephants.

We first met Waldemar climbing down a tree and elegantly hopping over some scrubs in front of the camera. Immediately, we dubbed him the athlete of the group. He is easily identifiable with his roundish and friendly face and an unusual light nose and muzzle. His hair shines almost silvery in the sunlight. He is not the biggest of the males here, but he makes sure that he is always in the center of everybody’s attention. He is named after the German marathoner Waldemar Cierpinski.

Classifications at Restless Star are already finished, but we still have open matching discussions and want to identify and name more chimps.

If you want to get involved and see African wildlife from camera traps yourself, please come over to Chimp&See!