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Drinking alcohol dates back 10 million years

Posted on Tuesday, 2 December, 2014 | Comment icon 21 comments

Even our distant ancestors were partial to a tipple. Image Credit:
Our early primate ancestors are likely to have consumed alcohol in the form of fermented fruit.
Alcohol might seem like an invention of modern civilization, yet millions of years ago our ancestors are believed to have feasted upon rotten, fermented fruit, a delicacy that would have left them with a rather significant hangover.

Clues pertaining to this early consumption of alcohol were discovered during an analysis of more than 70 million years worth of primate genes.

Scientists found that a genetic mutation from 10 million years ago enabled our ancestors to better digest ethanol, the first indications that our bodies had become more adept at handling booze.
Despite this adaptation however our early primate cousins are still more likely to have favored regular fruit over the more potent rotten variety.

"Just because they were adapted to be able to ingest it doesn't mean ethanol was their first choice, nor that they were perfectly adapted to metabolize it," said lead study author Matthew Carrigan.

It wasn't until around 10,000 BC that modern humans learned how to brew alcohol for themselves.

Source: | Comments (21)

Tags: Alcohol, Fruit, Early Man

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by paperdyer on 2 December, 2014, 18:12
If I evolved from a Primate (aka: Monkey) why are there still monkeys? If the T rex became a chicken, where are the T rex's? If the Megalodon became a great white, where are the Megalodon's? I understand multiple branches of the evolutionary tree produces variant outcomes but if you agree that one branch can remain severely unevolved then there may be a strong argument for Bigfoot. http://www.dailymail...ed-chicken.html I'll give this one vote in the Darwin awards.
Comment icon #13 Posted by seeder on 2 December, 2014, 18:34
If I evolved from a Primate (aka: Monkey) why are there still monkeys? Got any idea how many forms early man took? Do you know why Neanderthal didn't succeed, but modern man did? Did you know some lizards, called skinks, are losing their limbs and becoming more like snakes? While other skinks can change between being egg layers, or give live birth? Do you know why the biggest thing in the seas, the whales, evolved from water to land... then chose to evolve again to go back to life in the water? Like dolphins. And why do birds, call penguins, live by the sea, in the sea, and cant fly? And have ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Atuke on 2 December, 2014, 19:07
I wouldn't say Neanderthals didn't succeed. They were around longer than we have been, and I give so called "modern" man another 500 years max. We are a virus that destroys every natural resource. Greed will take us down
Comment icon #15 Posted by Sundew on 2 December, 2014, 21:17
And heres the (funny) proof. Must watch video I wonder if drunken elephants see pink humans?
Comment icon #16 Posted by seeder on 2 December, 2014, 21:20
I wonder if drunken elephants see pink humans? what did you think of the drunk monkeys? And ostriche's
Comment icon #17 Posted by Sundew on 2 December, 2014, 21:45
what did you think of the drunk monkeys? And ostriche's Too funny! In our area we sometimes have drunk Robins, they eat fermented berries and really act stupidly, sometimes crashing to the ground, falling over and such. I'm pretty sure I would't want to be around an elephant with a bad hangover!
Comment icon #18 Posted by DieChecker on 3 December, 2014, 5:48
So rotten fruit = ancient jungle juice??
Comment icon #19 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 3 December, 2014, 14:11
This video makes me rofl every time i love the part with animals having hangover lol Behaving like humans Alcohol is having exactly the same effect on animals, from what we have seen in video. First there is party with 'drinks' being served. Then there is 'acting crazy' and give me more alcohol part. Then sleep... And last thing, terrible wake up Rhino ( if that was rhino near end of video ) didn't mind all that dust falling on his nose, well, maybe he did but was too lazy to move
Comment icon #20 Posted by qxcontinuum on 5 December, 2014, 4:49
Of was the only defence against parasits and viruses
Comment icon #21 Posted by dazdillinjah on 24 December, 2014, 23:07
Ancient Jungle Juice LOL thats the best remark in a few years lmao

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