All posts tagged: guinea

Gourd of the Apes: Meet the Champagne Chimps

They are our closest cousins and it has now been proven they also share our propensity for a good bottle of red. Scientists who conducted the research study at Bossou in Guinea West Africa found wild chimpanzees had adapted their behaviour to consume palm wine, a local tipple fermented at the top of palm trees inside improvised plastic gourds. The study – published in the journal Royal Society Open Science –  also showed African apes and humans share a genetic mutation that enables them to digest alcohol. It had been once thought only humans engaged in the voluntary and social consumption of alcohol until this discovery. The scientists found evidence of the long-term and recurrent consumption of fermented alcohol from the raffia palm (Raphia hookeri, Arecaceae) by primates from 1995 to 2012. Chimpanzees at Bossou also consumed this alcoholic beverage, often in large quantities, despite an average presence of alcohol of 3.1% alcohol by volume rising to 6.9%. Raffia palms, which occur naturally in seasonally flooded areas are traditionally tapped by locals close to the crown of mature palms, …