Scientists think they may have discovered an animal that loves alcohol as much as humans do.
Given the choice, the Madagascan Lemur – also known as the Aye-aye – will pick the most alcoholic drink available, reports the Daily Mail.
And not only that – when the booze runs out, they’ll keep trying to come back for more.
A team at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, studied the behaviour of two aye-ayes and one slow loris (see super cute video above) and published their findings in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Their study is the first to show that the primates will pick alcoholic over non-alcoholic drinks.
In the past, both chimps and slow lorises have been observed drinking fermented nectar in the wild – but whether the pissed-up primates would choose it over non-fermented nectar was unknown. Until now.
Researchers believe the creatures are so drawn to the boozy nectar because it’s a good source of calories.
Nathaniel Dominy, professor of anthropology and biological sciences at Dartmouth, said:
Aye-ayes are essentially primate woodpeckers, so it is puzzling that they can digest alcohol so efficiently.
However, the researchers didn’t test whether the animals became drunk – although none of them showed signs of impaired coordination or behaviour.
Previous research has suggested human ancestors had a genetic mutation – which we shared with other great apes and other primates, like the aye-aye – which accelerated the digestion of alcohol.
Some believe this genetic similarity could be linked to our ancestors being able to digest fermented fruit that had fallen to the forest floor.
Samuel Gochman, lead author of the study, added:
Our results support the idea that fermented foods were important in the diets of our ancestors.
That explains a lot…