Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

Consider the similarities of the genomes of chimpanzees and humans.

TIME

Chimpanzees have the mental abilities to cook, researchers say, and would choose to cook their food if given the opportunity.

Though chimps can’t heat up raw foods on their own—they can’t quite produce fire—scientists found that when presented with two containers—one with cooked food and one regular—the chimps almost always chose to eat their sweet potatoes hot and roasted, even if it meant they had to wait. They didn’t put any of the provided wooden pieces into the “cooker,” but they were found to be interested in carrying it further (across a room) to cook it rather than quickly begin to eat.

The results, newly published in Proceedings of Royal Society B, suggest that the primates understand the concepts of planning, cause-and-effect and delayed gratification—three mental abilities that are necessary to cook. The study sheds light on the scientific mystery of when and how humans first learned to…

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