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Did getting FAT help us evolve? Our ancestors' ability to put on weight helped develop larger brains than other primates

Science:
Did getting FAT help us evolve? Our ancestors' ability to put on weight helped develop larger brains than other primates
Scientists measured energy use in humans and all species of great ape
Humans consume 400 more calories than chimpanzees and bonobos, 635 more calories than gorillas and 820 more calories than orangutans
Storing fat helped boost our metabolism compared to other primates
This helped us develop bigger brains, the researchers concluded

Most people would consider fat an unwanted part of their body.

But without our ability to store such tissue, our ancestors might not have developed such big brains compared to other primates, new research suggests.

The study shows storing fat helped boost our metabolism compared to other primates, which helped us develop our larger brains and ultimately separated us from our chimp cousins.

Professor Herman Pontzer from Hunter College, New York, and colleagues conducted the study by measuring the calorific intake of humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans.

The researcher group consisted of scientists from Ghana, Jamaica, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland and the US.

Humans are different from other primates in that they live longer, breed more, have more body fat, relatively smaller guts, and relatively large brains.

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04 May 2016, 22:02