You might be surprised to learn that it’s not just humans that can get drunk. Many different animals can get a little tipsy after enjoying some bad fruit or flower nectar. Below you’ll discover some of the most common creatures to get drunk and the side effects that come with it.
How Do Bees Get Drunk?
Bees, especially honey bees, can easily become drunk because they sipped too much fermented nectar. This occurs when summer heat warms the nectar and causes it to go slightly bad.
What Happens When a Bee Gets Drunk?
When bees get drunk they run into many problems. The first is that they have trouble flying. Because they are drunk, it’s difficult for their brain to calculate where to land on a flower or even where flowers might be.
As they fly, they try to find their way back to their hive. Along the way, they might end up hitting trees or even fall to the ground because they don’t have the energy to zoom through the air. If they get back to the hive drunk, the guard bees will not allow them to enter and might even attack them. This is done to help prevent the fermented nectar from being introduced into the colony which could cause major damage to it.
Bees often act like humans when they are drunk and have been used in numerous studies to help fight against human alcoholism. Scientists have given drunk bees Antabuse (an unpleasant drug designed to prevent drinking) and it has been shown to prevent them from becoming drunk.
How Do Birds Get Drunk?
Birds often get drunk after eating bad berries. A bird doesn’t usually realize the berries are fermented because they don’t taste a difference in them. Some berries do ferment sooner than normal because of an early frost, something which can make birds drunk and damage their migration senses during the end of the summer.
What Happens When Birds Get Drunk?
Birds will often have trouble navigating when they fly causing them to crash into windows. Some might end up diving into cars, trees, or buildings because they are unable to soar in a straight line. While most recover from their accident, a handful could severely injure themselves.
When not flying, they might try to walk, but look very unstable when doing so. Some researchers have seen drunk birds using their wings to help balance themselves as they walk.
Sometimes if a bird eats too many fermented berries it could cause a toxic reaction and result in death. This is because the alcoholic level in fermented berries will skyrocket over time and is more than their little body can handle.
Most birds will eventually fall asleep and recover from their drunk adventure within a few hours.
How Do Butterflies Get Drunk?
Butterflies enjoy nibbling on flower nectar or sugary fruit. If these start to ferment, their sugar turns into ethanol, something which can make a butterfly get drunk.
What Happens When Butterflies Get Drunk?
When a butterfly gets drunk it will usually stand still where it is. Some might try to fly, but most enjoy resting where their fermented treasure is. This mellow attitude allows people to easily pick them up without the butterfly floating away. Humans are only able to do this because the sensors in a butterfly’s receptors go numb due to the alcohol so they are unable to sense the movement.
Unlike many other animals, butterflies (especially red admirals) seem to seek out fermented objects. A farm in the Virgin Islands takes advantage of this and puts out various types of fermented food for these insects to feed on.
Because of warmer temperatures rising throughout the world, more butterflies tend to get drunk due to fruit quickly fermenting under the warm sun. In fact, this is often while you’ll see butterflies still around in October or November because they are surviving on leftover fruit.
How Do Bats Get Drunk?
As with most animals, bats will get drunk after feasting on fermented fruit. Bats are drawn to the tangy flavor of the fruit and will happily drink it. Unlike butterflies, bats don’t intentionally seek out fermented objects, but if they do find some, they will drink from it. Bats usually get drunk during the summer which is when a variety of fruit is available.
What Happens When Bats Get Drunk?
Many bat species don’t become drunk easily, especially those that live in Central and South America. For instance, the fruit bat can sip nectar from fermented fruit and become slightly drunk without having any negative side effects. Scientists found that despite drinking high amounts of alcohol, the fruit bat was still able to fly in a straight direction and at a fast speed without crashing into its surroundings. This means that their vital echolocation receptors were still working in perfect condition despite the bats having a blood alcohol content of at least 0.3%.
It’s not quite known why bats aren’t affected by alcohol. Some believe that bats have learned how to hold their alcohol better to prevent them from becoming prey.
How Do Tree Shrews Get Drunk?
Tree shrews enjoy consuming fermented nectar from bertam palms. Most of a tree shrew’s diet consists of fermented fruits and nectar. Despite this, they don’t seem to be affected at all by the high alcohol content they consume.
What Happens When Tree Shrews Get Drunk?
This animal is rarely drunk because it has special fur that contains ethyl glucuronide. When they consume fermented fruit or nectar, the alcohol will be absorbed by this metabolite. This way, they don’t get drunk.
In addition to this, tree shrews seem to have adapted to their environment which tends to mainly consist of fermented fruit. Researchers believe that over time, this small creature’s body has been able to adapt to the high alcohol content resulting in the tree shrew being able to drink without getting drunk.
Numerous animals can accidentally get drunk and some might even seek out alcohol. While most get intoxicated from fermented fruit, how they’re able to handle their alcohol consumption varies.