Thursday, July 21, 2016

Primates Prefer Alcohol

And are, apparently, well-adapted to consuming it:

"It’s somewhat “shocking” that the animals preferred beverages with the highest alcohol levels, says Matthew Carrigan of Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., who was not involved in the research. Alcohol is loaded with valuable calories, but “it’s a challenge to use those calories without getting inebriated. … If you are climbing around in the trees, 40 to 50 feet off the ground, perhaps at night and surrounded by predators, would you want to be drunk?”
Probably not a great idea.  

I've always pooh-poohed the idea that moderate alcohol consumption is more healthy, since alcohol is a toxin, after all.  But the dose makes the poison, and everything's toxic in the wrong amount.

If we're well-evolved for it, perhaps it's because there's a benefit.  This study doesn't show that, but it makes me think...

Research links:

Alcohol discrimination and preferences in two species of nectar-feeding primate

Tools to tipple: ethanol ingestion by wild chimpanzees using leaf-sponges