Chimp Math: Learning about Time from a Baby Chimpanzee

Chimp Math: Learning about Time from a Baby Chimpanzee

by Ann Whitehead Nagda, Cindy Bickel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466866553
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Series: Animal Math Series
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 28
File size: 10 MB
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

About the Author

Ann Whitehead Nagda is the author of Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger, as well as several other books about wildlife. Ms. Nadga lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and her cat.

Cindy Bickel has worked at the Denver Zoo for more than thirty years. Ms. Bickel helped write Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger and Klondike and Snow: The Denver Zoo's Remarkable Story of Raising Two Polar Bear Cubs.

Ann Whitehead Nagda is the author of math picture books about baby zoo animals, including Panda Math and Cheetah Math, as well as several other books about wildlife. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Cindy Bickel has worked at the Denver Zoo for more than thirty years, where she has helped raise many baby animals, including the polar bears Klondike and Snow. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Read an Excerpt

Chimp Math

Learning About Time from a Baby Chimpanzee

By Ann Whitehead Nagda, Cindy Bickel

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 2002 Ann Whitehead Nagda
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6655-3



A time line shows what happened during a certain period of time. The time line above shows things that happened to chimpanzees during the twentieth century. A century is 100 years. When you look at this time line, you can see that Jane Goodall, who is famous for her work with chimps, went to Africa in 1960 to learn about chimpanzees in their own habitat.

Late one night, a chimpanzee named Holly gave birth to a small, scrawny baby. The staff at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, thought the new baby seemed very weak. They hoped that Holly would pick him up and care for him, but she ignored her baby. Finally, fearing for the tiny chimp's life, they removed him from his mother and placed him in an incubator, which kept him warm and safe.



The time line on this page is for a much shorter period of time than the one here. This one shows all the times that the baby chimpanzee was fed in one day. A day is 24 hours long.

The chimp was fed every two hours. The first feeding was at midnight. The second feeding was at 2:00 A.M. The letters A.M. stand for ante meridiem, which means "before noon." The letters P.M. stand for post meridiem, which means "after noon."

Dr. R. A. "Jiggs" Nelson, a doctor for human babies, was called in to help care for the fragile baby chimpanzee. The infant was too weak to nurse at first, so Dr. Nelson decided to feed him through a tube. After five days, the baby chimp was stronger and could drink from a bottle. He was fed two ounces of milk every two hours. He was named Jiggs, in honor of the doctor who took such good care of him.



A graph is another way to show what's happened over a period of time. This bar graph shows how the baby chimpanzee's weight changed during the weeks he was at the Sedgwick County Zoo. A week is seven days long. This graph shows what the baby chimp weighed every week.

Jiggs weighed two pounds twelve ounces when he was born, but he lost weight during his first week. The graph shows that he weighed two and a half pounds at one week of age. There are sixteen ounces in one pound, so two and a half pounds is the same as two pounds eight ounces. By the time he was seventeen weeks old, he weighed six pounds thirteen ounces. He had gained four pounds one ounce since birth.

At birth, Jiggs weighed less than he should have. Most newborn chimpanzees weigh around four pounds. Jiggs weighed only two pounds twelve ounces. After a few weeks, he started to gain weight.

Jiggs's mother, Holly, had been loaned to the Sedgwick County Zoo, but both chimps belonged to the Denver Zoo. When Jiggs was seventeen weeks old, he was healthy enough to be moved, so he was driven to Denver, Colorado. Traveling didn't upset the chimp's appetite at all. No matter where he was, he now wanted a bottle every three hours.



A calendar shows how each month is divided into days and weeks. When Jiggs arrived at the Denver Zoo, he was about four months old. Cindy, who took care of him, wanted to know how old Jiggs was in days rather than in weeks or months, because she kept her records about Jiggs in days. She used a calendar to figure out his exact age.

Cindy had to figure out how many days had passed since Jiggs was born on February 25. Cindy started counting from February 26, when Jiggs was one day old. She stopped counting after she reached June 26, when he arrived at the Denver Zoo. She learned that Jiggs was 121 days old on June 26.

Jiggs was pretty helpless when he first arrived at the Denver Zoo. He couldn't roll over by himself, and he didn't have any teeth. He needed someone to take care of him 24 hours a day. The baby chimp spent the day in the zoo nursery. Cindy, a veterinary assistant, took him home with her at night. Often her dog Kane would sit and guard the baby chimp.

One morning when Cindy was driving to the zoo with Jiggs, a school bus pulled up beside her. The baby chimpanzee was strapped into a car seat next to Cindy. A boy leaned out the window of the bus and yelled, "What kind of weird baby is that?"



Cindy kept a daily chart about Jiggs that included how much he ate, when he slept, and when he played. By keeping a chart like this one, she made sure that he had enough play time and rest time every day and that he was eating the right amount.

The time 3:30 can be read as "three thirty." To find 3:30 on this clock, look for the minute hand (the longer hand). Then, starting at the 12, count each hour mark as five minutes until you reach the minute hand. When the minute hand is on the 6, it is thirty minutes past the hour.

Notice that at 3:30 the hour hand on the clock is halfway between the hours of three and four. Half an hour has gone by since the hour of three, so we can also say that it is "half past three."

In the wild, infant chimpanzees are carried everywhere by their mothers. In the zoo, Cindy and the other people caring for Jiggs had to take on the role of a chimpanzee mother. They helped Jiggs climb on a jungle gym to develop his climbing skills. Soon he could hang from a bar, lift his feet up, and swing. He learned to climb the ladder at the end of the gym.

Jiggs also learned how to climb out of his crib at night. He liked sleeping in Cindy's bed. Sometimes he pulled her hair to wake her up when he was hungry. At other times he hooted and hit the sides of his bed to wake Cindy. The longest time that Jiggs slept was three and a half hours. Cindy wondered how long it would be before the baby chimp slept through the night.



By the end of July, Jiggs was finally sleeping through the night. He was also stronger and could play for longer periods of time. Cindy's chart now looked like the one above.

One hour can be divided into four equal parts. Each part is a quarter of an hour, so the time 11:45 can be read as "quarter to twelve."

On this clock, the minute hand is on the 9. If you start at the 12 and count each hour mark as five minutes until you reach the minute hand, you will see that 45 minutes have passed since the hour began at 11:00. This why we can also read 11:45 as "eleven forty-five."

If you count the minutes between the 9 and the 12, you will see that there are fifteen minutes to go until the next hour, which is 12:00. So we can also read 11:45 as "fifteen minutes to twelve."

Cindy allowed Kane to help her with Jiggs. Kane was very patient. He let the chimp examine his ears and paws and even take a nap on his back. When Jiggs was teething he wanted to chew on everything — even the dog's ears.

As Jiggs got older, he was able to entertain himself. He could play as long as two and a quarter hours. One morning he started playing at quarter to twelve. He hugged and kissed his chimp doll. He chewed on his colored rings. He climbed on his jungle gym. At two o'clock, Cindy went to get his milk. When she returned with his bottle, Jiggs was fast asleep. He had worn himself out.



The chart above records one whole day for Jiggs, from the time he woke up until the time he fell asleep. Cindy often wrote the time in her chart using a 24-hour clock.

This is a time line of a 24-hour clock. From 1:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 24-hour clocks use the same numbers as 12-hour clocks. After 12:00 noon, you can find out the time on a 12-hour clock by subtracting 12:00 from the 24-hour clock's time:


When he was seven months old, Jiggs started to pay even more attention to Cindy's pets. He hugged Kane and ran around the house hanging on to the dog's fur. He played a new game with the cat. Jiggs dangled a piece of fabric over the edge of the bed. The cat swatted at the fabric.

But sometimes Jiggs got in trouble. He chased the cat, then pulled on its ears. He chewed on everything, including electrical cords. He threw his toys. Cindy said "No!" when he chewed on dangerous things. Jiggs stopped and shivered until she touched him and talked to him quietly.



As the days became weeks and the weeks became months, Jiggs grew bigger and stronger and could do more things. On his first birthday, Jiggs was one year old. Here are some other ways of stating his age:

12 months old

52 weeks old

365 days old

8,760 hours old

525,600 minutes old

This is one way to figure out how many hours are in a year:

365 days per year × 24 hours per day = 8,760 hours per year.

This is one way to figure out how many minutes are in a year:

8,760 hours per year × 60 minutes per hour = 525,600 minutes per year.

Most years are 365 days long. Every four years, February has twenty-nine days instead of twenty-eight. These years are 366 days long and are called leap years.

Cindy wanted to keep Jiggs entertained and out of trouble, so she decided to teach him to paint. But the chimp just stood on the picture and tried to eat the paint. Cindy held his hand and showed him how to use the brush. By the time he was ten months old, he was able to concentrate on a painting for twenty minutes. He could also hold his own bottle of milk and drink from a cup. When Cindy taught him sign language, he learned "food" and "bottle" right away.

On the day Jiggs was one year old, the zoo had a birthday party for him. He was frightened and backed away from the lighted candle on his cake. Cindy gave him some cake, but he spit it out and made a face. Happy birthday anyway, Jiggs!



The time line above shows events that happened in Jiggs's first year. Cindy was curious to see when Jiggs could do things compared to when a wild chimp could do them. She knew when baby chimpanzees in the wild first do certain things, like taking a step or climbing a tree.

Cindy used this information to make a chart like the one below to compare Jiggs's development with that of wild chimpanzees. The chart makes it easy to see that Jiggs did some things "on time" and some things later than a wild chimpanzee.

When Jiggs was fourteen months old, a jaguar cub named Giorgio joined him in the nursery. Cindy took both babies home with her at night. When Giorgio cried, Jiggs held the cub in his arms to comfort him. Jiggs helped hold the bottle when Cindy fed the little jaguar.

Giorgio and Jiggs loved to chase each other. Jiggs liked to hit the washing machine as he ran by because of the loud boom it made. The jaguar watched when Jiggs climbed the floor lamp and slid back down. When Giorgio tried to chew on the electrical cord, Jiggs took it away. He knew that wasn't allowed.

Jiggs was very protective of his jaguar cub. If a person Jiggs didn't know well tried to pick up Giorgio, Jiggs would swing his arms, bare his teeth, hoot, and charge. If a little smack didn't make the person back off, Jiggs would bite.



During the time Jiggs spent at the Denver Zoo, he learned many skills that a chimp in the wild wouldn't learn. This time line shows some of them. At seven months, he could watch TV and look at books. At fourteen months, he fed the baby jaguar a bottle just like Cindy did. Of course, climbing a pole lamp wasn't something he learned by watching Cindy. He figured that out on his own after he learned how to climb trees and exercise on his jungle gym.

Jiggs always watched everything that Cindy did and tried to copy her. When she brushed her teeth, he wanted to brush his teeth. He helped her fold laundry. He cleaned the nursery floor with a wet mop. Of course, he tried to drink the water in the bucket first!

To get him ready to move from the nursery to the primate house with the zoo's other apes and monkeys, Cindy had to teach Jiggs to eat monkey biscuits. She tried soaking them in apple juice. He sucked the juice out and threw away the biscuits. She coated them with yogurt, but he still wouldn't eat them. Finally Cindy ate a biscuit, and Jiggs ate one too.



Time passes and a baby chimpanzee grows up. A baby jaguar grows up too, but on a different time schedule. A chimpanzee doesn't become an adult until he is fifteen years old, while a jaguar takes only four years.

In the wild, a chimpanzee usually lives for three to four decades, or 30 to 40 years. A decade is ten years. A chimp living in a zoo, however, may live for more than five decades. So a chimp in a zoo can live quite a bit longer than one in the wild. The amount of time that Jiggs spent in Wichita and in Denver was just a small part of his whole life.



A jaguar like Giorgio, Jiggs's friend, can live for up to 22 years in a zoo. This is a little more than two decades. In the wild, a jaguar may live for six to nine years, or less than one decade. Giorgio left the zoo nursery when he was six months old and stayed in the feline (wildcat) exhibit at the Denver Zoo until he was two years old. Then he moved to a zoo in Seattle.

When Jiggs was sixteen months old, he moved to the primate house. Cindy stayed with him during his first day there. When she left, he screamed. The next day, he clung to her when she came to visit. After several days, a house cat named Zipper was put in with him. The cat slept next to Jiggs, and they played together in the hay. Sometimes Jiggs hugged the cat and wouldn't let him get away, but the chimp had stopped screaming.

After a month at the primate house, Jiggs was taken to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs to join their troop of chimps. In the wild, chimpanzees stay with their mothers for about seven years. Jiggs still needed a mother. Cindy missed Jiggs, but she knew it was best for him to be with other chimpanzees. He was adopted by an older female who took good care of him.


Excerpted from Chimp Math by Ann Whitehead Nagda, Cindy Bickel. Copyright © 2002 Ann Whitehead Nagda. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Time Line of Chimpanzees in the Twentieth Century,
Time Line of a Day,
How Jiggs Grew Week by Week,
Jiggs's First Four Months,
Jiggs's Daily Chart in June,
Jiggs's Daily Chart in July,
Jiggs's Daily Chart in September,
Happy Birthday, Jiggs!,
Time Line of Jiggs's First Year,
Time Line of Other Skills Jiggs Learned,
Time Line of a Chimpanzee's Life in Decades,
Time Line of a Jaguar's Life in Decades,
About the Authors,

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