"Does affection for animals confer an evolutionary advantage? Our love of all things furry has deep roots and may have shaped how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization. This 'animal connection' compelled humans to learn about and care for fellow creatures, said Pat Shipman, a paleoanthropologist at Penn State University. ... Such nurturing behavior also paid off when humans learned to harness animals as living tools rather than just as food or companions, as detailed in the August 2010 issue of the journal Current Anthropology. That allowed people to essentially use the evolutionary advantages of dogs, cats, horses and other animals for themselves."