For the past hundred years scientific studies have continued to prove just how closely related you and I are to chimpanzees.
The latest discovery shows that chimps even have the intellectual abilities required for cooking.
It’s a discovery that could have profound implications for human evolution.
A new study found that chimpanzees prefer to eat cooked food, that they’re prepared to wait for it, and will even choose to store raw vegetables if they think they’ll have an opportunity to cook them later on.
This is a truly amazing discovery and makes it even more clear just how closely we’re related to animals (and also why we should all do our part to protect our animal brethren).
Believe it or not, but chimps actually love roast vegetables and grilled meat. Not only is this news amazing and kinda cute, but it also has profound implications on our understanding of human evolution.
Felix Warneken is a Harvard University psychology. He tells us, “If we see something in chimpanzees’ behaviour, our common ancestor may have possessed these traits as well. If our closest evolutionary relative possesses these skills, it suggests that once early humans were able to use and control fire they could also use it for cooking.”
The moment in which humans began to eat cooked food is a very important time in the evolution of humanity because it led to mammoth changes in diet and also freed up a lot of time, time which we then used for technological innovation and for population growth.
Science has known for some time that certain animals enjoy cooked meat. However, is something entirely different to be able to actually prepare that meat.
Scientists previously believed that only humans could prepare cooked meat. “Cooking involves a number of capacities that are thought to be uniquely human,” said Warneken.
To investigate, scientists at Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo gave chimps the opportunity to cook meat with a safe cooking device—a plastic lunchbox with a false bottom that could be used to cook raw potatoes.
The chimps opted to cook the potato 90% of the time. When they were then made to carry the potatoes to the oven, 60% of the chimps opted for cooked potatoes. Half the chimps also chose to store the potatoes when the cooking device was temporarily taken away.
Chimps are our family. And they can do the cooking.