Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for January 31st, 2010

Do you call a drunk bat “wingless”?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-01-31

Some bats seem to love their booze, and fly faster through obstacle courses when they are drunk.

"Drinking and Flying: Does Alcohol Consumption Affect the Flight and Echolocation Performance of Phyllostomid Bats?" (PLoS One, 2010-02-01 officially) has experimenters thinking about whether the fermented fruit bats eat (which can get up to 4.5% alcohol in some parts of the world) would affect the way they deal with an obstacle flying course made of linked plastic chains about a wingspan apart.

Well, some species appeared to get quite drunk as far as blood levels went, with a significant number getting themselves above 0.3%BAC, and some species avoided stronger alcohol unless they were hungry, yet apart from speed (some species slowing down when drunk, others speeding up), behaviour was unaffected.

It looks like the ability to handle your drink is important for bat evolution.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Biology and Health, Science and Tech | Leave a Comment »

 
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