Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Booze Shrew Binges Nightly

Doesn't get drunk:

Malaysia's pen-tailed tree-shrew waits until nightfall to binge on fermented nectar from the bertam palm.
The animal could give insights into how humans' alcohol tolerance first evolved, the scientists say.[...]

Nectar from the flower buds of the bertam palm is fermented to a maximum alcohol content of up to 3.8%.

Each bud is a miniature brewery, containing a yeast community that turns the nectar into a frothy beer-like beverage.

Yet the animals, which are about the size of a small rat, do not seem to get drunk at all, researchers say.


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