Cityvisitor blog

Chimps could be your new drinking buddy

Anyone who has enjoyed the odd alcoholic beverage or two might be interested and amused to read the results of a recent scientific study.

No, hold on, before you turn away thinking this is another report about how much we should or shouldn’t drink – this one’s about how chimpanzees apparently also enjoy the odd tipple.

Observing the animals in the wild, scientists found they like to indulge in drinking ethanol from the raffia palm – often drinking the alcoholic equivalent of a bottle of wine.

The findings have been published in the Royal Society Open Science following a study that was carried out over 17 years in Bossou in Guinea, West Africa.

The chimpanzees actually go to great lengths to collect this drink – using a leafy tool to soak up the liquid.

Scientists reported that the chimpanzees showed “signs of inebriation” after drinking sessions, as well as often falling asleep!

Details of their exact behaviour were not described – which left things to my imagination! Did they start singing really badly, cuddling each other a lot, dancing, fighting and crying? Did they struggle to find their way home to their tree and feel sorry for themselves the next morning?

The report also found that drinking the sap acted as an “appetite stimulant or a cue to finding fruit” meaning it helped rather than hindered their survival instincts! I wonder if they get a craving for fast food?

Anyway, if the chimps can do it, so can I, so I’m off to contemplate this further over a bottle of wine.

http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/6/150150

 

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