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Study Finds Monkeys Love A Bit Of Booze

A new study has found that monkeys deliberately seek out fruit that has fermented and contains about 2% alcohol.

It’s not a huge amount, so luckily, they can still drive. I wouldn’t trust them to operate heavy machinery though.

The research was undertaken by biologists at UC Berkeley who collected fruit that had been eaten and discarded by black-handed spider monkeys in Panama.

The researchers (the ones who obviously lost rock, paper, scissors) also collected urine samples.

Biologist, Robert Dudley, has studied humans' love of alcohol for the past 25 years, and in 2014 wrote a book suggesting this started in our ape and monkey ancestors, as the scent of alcohol led them to ripe fruit.

He didn’t have data to support his 'drunken monkey' hypothesis, but hopefully he took consolation in the fact that he had the best hypothesis name in scientific history.

With this new study, led by primatologist, Christina Campbell and her graduate student, Victoria Weaver there’s finally data to back it up.

'For the first time, we have been able to show, without a shadow of a doubt, that wild primates, with no human interference, consume fruit-containing ethanol', said Campbell.

The monkeys use the alcohol differently to humans though. Results showed they were utilizing the alcohol for energy – rather than escaping their problems or becoming better dancers.

The study found that the fruit the monkeys preferred to eat had an alcohol level similar to low-alcohol beers or cider. So, it also shows that monkeys have a better understanding of moderation than humans.

Although the thought of a pissed monkey stumbling around a forest, looking for a kebab is very amusing, it’s unlikely they are actually feeling the effects of the alcohol.

Dudley says 'They're probably not getting drunk, because their guts are filling before they reach inebriating levels'.

So, if you thought there was finally a good excuse for throwing their poo at people, nope! They're doing that sober.