RE­SEARCHERS GOT CRAYFISH TIPSY

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Update -

How did they do that?

A team at the Univer­sity of Mary­land plunged two groups of so­cial crayfish into a tank spiked with booze. Pre­vi­ously, one group had been housed to­gether in a tank for 10 days, the other group had been kept in soli­tary con­di­tions. The team ob­served the an­i­mals over three hours to de­ter­mine how ‘drunk’ they were.

What did they find?

When crayfish are tipsy, they stand more up­right and be­gin thrash­ing their tails around be­fore fi­nally flop­ping over onto their backs – a sight eerily sim­i­lar to the scenes in UK town cen­tres on a Fri­day night. The team found that it took larger quan­ti­ties of al­co­hol to trig­ger drunken be­hav­iour in the loner crayfish.

Why did they do that?

Though they are keen to stress the fact that the re­search is still in the pre­lim­i­nary stages, the re­searchers say that so­cially iso­lated hu­mans could show a sim­i­lar in­creased tol­er­ance to the ef­fects of al­co­hol. This could help to ex­plain why those who spend a lot of time on their own of­ten drink more heav­ily.

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