Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We’re all great apes. This hour we take a look at what happens when we all try to live together. Our main story is about a chimp named Lucy. When Lucy was only two days old she was adopted by a psychologist and his wife who wondered: if given the right environment, how human could Lucy become? This story and other tales of radical sharing between humans and the creatures on earth most like us. Be sure to watch the slide show through to the end to see the image of the hug between Janis and Lucy.
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We were apes before we were humans. But humans were the onetime apes who ultimately mastered fire and cooked.
Primatologist and anthropologist Richard Wrangham says that in evolutionary terms, that made all the difference. And not just because it put flambé on the menu.
Fire meant proto-humans could cook. Cooking, he says, meant they could get dense, empowering nourishment. Then came bigger brains, a different body and — voila! — homo sapiens. Complete, he says, with a social structure built around that fire.