News & Views

10 Jun 2015

Some Ethanol for "Boozy chimps"

Boozy chimps in west Africa enjoy drinking sessions in groups. Sometimes they drink alone at the top of a raffia palm tree or drink in groups. BBC made a documentary on monkeys on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts that sneak gulps from vacationers' cocktails.

Findings of a study, headed by Kimberley Hockings of Oxford Brookes University, and appeared in the British journal Royal Society Open Science, supports "drunken monkey" theory – that apes and humans share a genetic ability to break down alcohol that was handed down from a common ancestor. By metabolising alcohol, according to this idea, our forerunners could eat fermented fruit found on the forest floor, gaining a precious additional source of calories and vitamins.

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