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Sunday, October 28, 2007

How drunken bats get sober - straight from the lab to you just when you need it

Yes, the long-feared moral decline in bat species is true:
Bats often risk getting drunk off cocktails of alcohol that stew inside ripened fruit. And just as driving is dangerous for intoxicated humans, so is flying for boozy bats.

Now scientists find bats are savvy enough to dine on certain types of fruit sugar to help them get over the ill effects of alcohol. These findings could shed light on how wildlife deals with alcohol.

Bats make up one-quarter of all mammal species. Almost one-third of all bats live on the juices of fruits and the nectar of flowers.

Who said pure science wasn't practical ... Nonsense!

Prediction: Bats will turn out to have vastly better morning-after remedies than anything invented by humans. And that is doubtless part of the reason there are so darn many bats.

Meanwhile, researchers also learned,
Curiously, even though sucrose did not appear to help combat intoxication as well as fructose did, the fruit bats preferred food that contained sucrose over foods with either fructose or glucose, regardless of whether or not there was alcohol in the food.

It was suggested that bats just prefer sucrose. And why not? Even fruit flies apparently have free will. Go here and here for more on fruit flies and free will.

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