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Tatu's name sign is the knuckles of a "T" hand tapping the opposite shoulder. She was also part of the second research project. Tatu was born on December 30, 1975 at the Institute for Primate Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.
Tatu often signs BLACK. We think it is her favorite color, and the sign also seems to be used when she is referring to anything she really likes. Tatu seems to enjoy masks; she will often carry them with her throughout the play areas and solicit mask games from her human caregivers.
Full Name: Oklahoma Tatu. Oklahoma is her place of birth and Tatu means "three" in Swahili.
Pronunciation: ta' too
Name Sign: “T” tapped on opposite shoulder. Her name sign has no known significance.
Date Of Birth: December 30, 1975.
Place Of Birth: Institute for Primate Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
Taxonomic Classification: Pan troglodytes troglodytes (presumed classification)
Early Childhood/Rearing Conditions: Tatu was cross fostered by Drs. Beatrix T. and R. Allen Gardner from 1975 - 1981. She joined the Foutses at Central Washington University in 1981.
Personal: Tatu is the most articulate signer of the chimpanzees at the CHCI and seems to enjoy talking to chimpanzee and human companions, as well as to herself. She often signs BLACK. We think it is her favorite color and the sign also seems to be used when she is referring to anything she really likes. Her interactions are often interpreted as playful and sometimes teasing. She is often the timekeeper of the family and has been known to remind interns of meal times, blanket time, time to go out, etc. She also seems to be aware of seasonal celebrations. She has reminded us of Christmas (SWEET TREE), Dar’s birthday (ICE CREAM DAR), and Thanksgiving (BIRD MEAT).
Favorite Activities: Tatu seems to enjoy signing activities, chatting with her chimpanzee and human companions, teasing, and signing to herself. She is always ready for the challenge of a food puzzle, and can frequently be found swinging on the hoses and tires and playing TICKLE or CHASE. Tatu enjoys being outside, rain or shine. She often asks for makeup, hair clips and catalogs, especially Hickory Farms with all those cheeses, meats and crackers.
Favorite Foods: Dairy products are believed to be among Tatu’s favorite food items, especially cheese, which she often signs about. Unfortunately, she is lactose intolerant and her intake of dairy products must be limited. Bananas, carrots, coffee, and tea, are others that she seems to particularly enjoy. She signs about BIRD MEAT around Thanksgiving and has occasionally been observed to take enough turkey to fill both her hands and a foot.