Humans, chimpanzees, and some of the other apes tend to seek out the state of drunkenness

Humans aren’t the only animals that can appreciate a stiff drink. Or three or five drinks. According to a new study,the slow loris and the aye-aye (two primates) seek out the most alcoholic nectar available––when presented with a choice. Slow lorises and aye-ayes happen to share the same genetic mutation [aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 gene (ALDH2) encoding the ALDH2 Glu504Lys enzyme], which is also used by humans and other great apes, to be able to metabolize alcohol more effectively. Note [below] groups of N=2 aye-ayes and N=1 slow lorises … do not make a terribly convincing study (but it’s good enough for an article in the Washington Post )

There are other animals that seek out alcoholic nectars for their superior caloric content. In my own research years ago, we found that C57BL/6J (B6) mice loved sucrose-laced alcohol solutions, whereas DBA/2J (D2) would rather not drink at all than be forced to drink that stuff. Similar to teetotalers such as the Southern Baptist. However, humans, chimpanzees, and some of the other apes exhibit a fairly unusual tendency to seek out the state of drunkenness for its own sake.


The Slow Loris appears to prefer the booziest nectar


July 20 

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