Cover art for podcast Origin Stories

Origin Stories

76 EpisodesProduced by The Leakey FoundationWebsite

Explore human evolution one story at a time. This award-winning show blends storytelling with science that will change your understanding of who we are.


Episode 31: The Four Year War

A scientist solves the mystery of the only known chimpanzee civil war...thus far.

In 1960, Louis Leakey sent Jane Goodall to start her study of chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Her first decade of research led her to think that chimpanzees were like nicer versions of humans. But in the early 1970s, the Gombe chimp community split in two and deadly violence erupted. The cause has remained a mystery until now. A new study by Leakey Foundation grantee Joseph Feldblum reveals similarities between the ways chimpanzee and human societies break down.


Thanks to Joseph Feldblum for sharing his work. Visit his website to learn more about his research.

Thanks to Jane Goodall for everything. Visit her website to learn more about her work and the Gombe chimpanzees.

The archival audio used in this episode is from The Leakey Foundation Archive. The narration in the first part of our story was recorded in 1970 for a Leakey Foundation filmstrip. The lecture audio is from a 1978 Leakey Foundation lecture entitled "Cannibalism and Warfare in Chimpanzee Societies."

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit to donate today!


Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys" 


This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Origin Stories


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens