Humans show remarkable foresight. From storing food to carrying tools, we can imagine, prepare for and, ultimately, steer the course of the future. Although many animals hoard food or build shelters, there is scant evidence that they ponder the long-term ramifications of their actions or the future more generally. But new research hints that our ape brethren may share our ability to think ahead.
Nicholas Mulcahy and Josep Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig tested whether our closest great ape relative–the bonobo–and our most distant–the orangutan–share our ability to plan for the future.