- Recent studies reveal that chimps generally prefer cooked over raw food and would cook if given the skills and opportunity.
- A series of tests were carried out by the authors of the study, Alexandra Rosati (an evolutionary biologist at Yale University) and Dr Felix Warneken ( a psychologist at Harvard) to determine which foods chimps preferred and whether they had the ability to wait for cooked food.
- Remarkably, the results showed that chimps preferred cooked potato 90% of the time, with 60% still making this decision when they had to wait for the food to be cooked.
- The preference was reinforced by the fact that over half of the chimps hoarded potatoes when they knew it could be cooked later on, which is surprising given that chimps tend to eat their food immediately. Such behavior is common in the animal world where the time required to cook or hold foods presents opportunities for theft.
- The results show that chimps’ inability to control fire is one of the main reasons they can’t cook.
- The research was published in one of the journals of the Royal Society.