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A party animal

July 29, 2008

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This is a pen-tailed tree shrew, Ptilocercus lowii, a Malaysian critter that weighs only 47g but can drink the pound-for-pound equivalent of nine glasses of wine without any ill-effect when it sups on the alcoholic nectar of the bertam palm. While there are other species that drink the nectar – the slow loris, Nycticebus coucang, the common tree shrew, Tupaia glis, and the plantain squirrel, Callosciurus notatus – the shrew is the Oliver Reed of the bunch.

See doi: 10.1073/pnas.0801628105

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  1. Tom Reznick
    July 29, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Notably, the common historian of science can also drink 9 glasses of wine with no ill effect.

  2. Ian
    July 29, 2008 at 11:05 am

    “…the shrew is the Oliver Reed of the bunch.”
    But can it act? I mean, when has it ever been in “Taming of the Shrew”? Huh? Huh? Huh?!

  3. Dave Wisker
    July 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    What kind of adaptations does it have to do this? WC Fields’s liver?

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