- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Tiny treeshrews chug alcoholic nectar without getting drunk
Imagine being able to drink ludicrous amounts of alcohol without getting drunk and without the nasty consequences in the morning. For some people, it would be a dream come true but for the pen-tailed treeshrew (Ptilocercus lowii), it’s just part of everyday life.
The treeshrew lives in the rainforests of Malaysia and its local drinking establishment is a large plant called the bertam palm. The palm develops large stems a few metres in length, each of which sprouts about a thousand flowers. These are loaded with an alcoholic nectar with a maximum alcohol concentration of 3.8% – as strong as beer and one of the most alcoholic natural foodstuffs known. And because of it, the bertam plant regularly smells a lot