As far as we can tell, chimps don’t cook. Yet a series of clever experiments show that Pan troglodytes have a taste for cooked food and the cognitive capabilities to cook. The implication is that the common ancestor of chimps and humans that lived around 2 million years ago was poised to cook. The lineage that led to humans figured out how to control fire. The chimp lineage did not.
The Guardian’s science correspondent Hannah Devlin has already written an excellent article about the research, but I thought I’d share with you some of the video clips that accompany the study, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Chimps like chips
Chimps like to cook.
I ain’t no chump.
There are several other videos here that help illustrate all the other experiments in the study.
Warneken, F. and Rosati, A.G. Cognitive capacities for cooking in chimpanzees. PRS DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0229 3 June 2015