If you’re at all skeptical of evolution, then this piece of news may change your mind. Turns out that just like humans, monkeys and chimpanzees like to drink alcohol in order to wind down at the end of their day. Seems crazy right? Well, when you think about it, it’s actually not. After all, they are related to us.
To get alcohol, monkeys and chimpanzees actually make it (see, they’re just like us!). First the animals extract sap from raffia palm trees and then they let the sap ferment creating a palm wine that is basically a lower tech version of the way we let grapes ferment to make actual wine.
To drink the resulting palm wine, monkeys frequently use a ‘leaf sponge’ tool. Essentially, the leaf absorbs and holds the fermented sap and then the monkeys or chimpanzees sip from it, almost like a cup. Check out this chimp using the tool below:
Drinking alcohol is not a rare occasion for chimpanzees and monkeys; according to animal behavior scientists, they do it quite frequently. And when they do, they get buzzed in the same way that we do: they play more, they’re louder, and, when they drink in excess, they pass out. Dr. Kimberley Hockings, study participant and an expert in animal behavior from Oxford Brookes University, says chimpanzees are generally better at holding their liquor than us, so excessive drinking is not as much of a problem for them.
Monkeys are slightly less classy when it comes to booze. Unlike chimpanzees (which aren’t monkeys, but “great apes”), when monkeys run low on their homemade hooch, they’ve been known target cocktails, as in steal drinks from tourists. The most cited example of this occurrence is with green monkeys on the island of St. Kitts. If you’ve ever stolen a sip of your friend’s drink, or poured less Champagne for your guests than you secretly drank in the kitchen, well, you may have to admit a certain behavioral similarity…