Until two million years ago, our ancestors were apelike beings the size of chimpanzees. Then Homo erectus was born and we became human. What caused this extraordinary transformation? In this stunningly original book, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that cooking created the human race. At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: The habit of eating cooked rather than raw food permitted the digestive tract to shrink and the human brain to grow, helped structure human society, and created the male-female division of labor. As our ancestors adapted to using fire, humans emerged as “the cooking apes.” A groundbreaking new theory of evolution, Catching Fire offers a startlingly original argument about how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today.