SHREW BREW

tree shrew

Environmental contamination has nothing on Malaysia’s pen-tailed tree shrews. Turns out the little guys are pretty good at polluting themselves. The shrew, which lives on alcoholic nectar from a local palm tree, “could — pound for pound – – drink the average human under the table,” according to a recent BBC News bulletin. “Despite the shrews’ small size, they are no lightweights when it comes to their alcohol intake. 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.”

Scientists also found that “on any given night, a tree-shrew had a 36% chance of being drunk.” Now that’s a party animal.

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