Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Human See, Monkey Do?

Charles Darwin may not have been the first to think about humans as part of an evolutionary continuum, but he certainly had ideas along that line when he published The Descent of Man all those years ago. among the host of observations he made included the fact that monekys' behaviors in some way mirrored that of humans, and not especially in ways one might think!
Darwin, for example, noted that monkeys had a "strong taste" for tea, coffee, and liquor; in fact, he observed an entire group of monkeys that was hung over! They refused alcohol, held their heads looking miserable, and wanted some fruit juice instead. Apparently, the term "hair of the dog" had not yet been popularized among the simian creatures.
Lest you put all of this down as more fiction by Darwin (as many believe), Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz has a book entitled Zoobiquity in which she corroborates Darwin's findings. The accompanying URL is a series of videos that show such alcoholic tendencies in animals. But it's not just monkeys, according to Natterson-Horowitz. Humans, insects and amphibians have opiate receptors in the brain that seek pleasure...and can become addicted to it.
Worms, for example, tend to move more slowly and lay fewer eggs when on the juice.
Bighorn sheep will grind their teeth down to the gum line to scrape off psychoactive lichen.
Fruit flies become hypersexed on alcohol and pursue far more same-sex mating than would otherwise happen.
Zebra fish in an aquarium will hang around the same spot for hours on end, waiting for the next few grains of coke to be dropped in.
The bottom line, of course, is that all of these critters are just like us: some can handle a little, some must have a lot, and some get hooked. In every species, those that overdo it suffer the most.
So there: Mom was right...too much of a good thing IS a bad thing!


Post a Comment

<< Home