It was found that chimps have the patience to wait for cooked food than eating it raw and have the foresight to keep the food in a device that appears to be like a cooker, said scientists who conducted the experiment on them. “Many primate species, including chimpanzees, have difficulty giving up food already in their possession,” they said in their observation.
If there is a choice between a raw potato and a cooked potato, they would be ready to forgo with their raw one in hand and go for the one still in cooking stage.
Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist at Harvard wrote in his book, “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” argued that the art of cooking might have begun two million years ago, but our ancestors must, perhaps not much more advanced than chimps, had to grasp the very concept of cooking the raw.
Felix Warneken at Harvard and Alexandra G. Rosati, former Yale researcdhers now moving to Harvard, presented the chimps with simulation of cooking as a concept which the chimps were able to emulate.
“We invented this magic cooking device,” Dr. Warneken said. They placed two plastic bowls with pre-cooked food hidden in the bottom. When a chimpanzee puts a raw sweet potato into the device, they lifted the cooked one up to give a feeling that the pot can cook food.
The next questions is whether chimps can wait for half-an-hour for cooked food, even if they have raw sweet potato in their hands. The experiment proved that they indeed prefer to wait for half-an-hour and go for a cooked potato.
The chimps showed numerous indications that, given a real cooking opportunity, they can take to cooking.