Booze Shrews Drink Lots of Beer

The pentailed treeshrew has recently been identified by scientists as the “biggest drunk” in the animal kingdom. Frank Wiens of the Department of Animal Physiology at the University of Bayreuth in Germany smelled the distinct odor of booze in the Segari Melintang Forest Reserve in Western Malaysia. He and his team identified the bertam palm’s flowers as producing a nectar that ferments into alcohol. They then decided to set up cameras to document the creatures who visited the palm. At night, slow lorises and pentailed treeshrews spent the most time consuming the palm’s liquid, with the treeshrews lingering the longest, almost two and a half hours on average per night at the makeshift bar!

“You don’t know the first thing about me…not the first thing…I’m…just…trying…I’m trying…you see this is the problem with you people, you’re always coming in here with your lights and your cameras and your radio collars and your lights…and you…trying to tell me what to do…every day…every day you do this, and…well I’ll tell you something…I’ll tell you something good…you’re, not, my boss…you hear me?…you’re not my freaking boss…no, no, no…get off me…I said f***ing get off of me!…” said one treeshrew.

The alcoholic content of the juice was found to be 3.8% alcohol, similar to that watery urine they call beer in Denver. Still, despite drinking enormous amounts of the broth the treeshrews displayed no outward signs of drunkeness. Wiens’ findings can be read in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Andrew and I wanted to thank the 14 people who forwarded this article to our attention. We couldn’t have done it without you!


  1. #1 Rick MacPherson
    July 29, 2008

    Note to Self: Reincarnate as Pen-Tailed Shrew

  2. #2 HP
    July 29, 2008

    Still, I’d think twice before handing a tree shrew my car keys.

  3. #3 MikeG
    July 29, 2008

    Dear Sir,
    I wish to register a complaint. With your post on July the 29th, you have defamed all of Colorado. There are many fine brewpubs within the city limits of Denver, including the Wynkoop, mere blocks from the baseball field named after the source of your misguided ire. I shall only mention the New Belgium brewery as a fine counter-example of a semi-mass producing brewer in CO.

    I would request that you rescind your “watery urine” comment, as directed at all of Denver and aim it more properly at that singularly horrid brewery located in Golden, CO.

    With respect,
    Real beer drinker from Colorado.

  4. #4 jeffk
    July 29, 2008

    I’m pretty sure the “”biggest drunk” in the animal kingdom” is my roommate.

    And that Colorado beer? 3.2% if it’s Sunday and you’re at a gas station. Same as here in Minnesota, and nowhere else.

  5. #5 Tom
    July 30, 2008

    I believe that 3.2% limit is alcohol by weight, which works out to a whopping 4.0% by volume. Small consolation, though.

  6. #6 Abel Pharmboy
    July 30, 2008

    Great article, Benny. But I must share MikeG’s objection to your mix-up between Denver and Golden. In fact, the Wynkoop was for years the Thursday night meetup site of the Pharmboy laboratory’s fermented grain investigations.

  7. #7 julia
    July 31, 2008

    Jeffk, unless we’re living together and I don’t know it, then I have to say that I’m most assuredly the biggest drunk in the animal kingdom. This could also explain my having a roommate I don’t know about.

  8. #8 KC
    August 2, 2008

    I don’t know about these pentailed shrews showing signs of drunkenness, but I’ve suspected the slow loris as a raging alcoholic for years. Clumsily snatching at nearby objects and spreading urine anywhere they damn well please.

  9. #9 Antalya Gezi Sitesi
    August 21, 2009

    I think this article is one of the bests on this webpage. I have learnt a lot . Thank you.

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