Where Can I Get a Drink Around Here?
Okay, this one is a bit on the light side, but I found it quite interesting as an illustration of the unintended consequences (sometimes really unintended) of introducing non-native species in foreign ecosystems. The video below shows alcoholic monkeys on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. They were brought there from West Africa 300 years ago by slave traders back when the island was a rum-producing colony, and apparently they developed a taste for alcohol from eating fermented sugarcane left in the fields. Nowadays, they satisfy their liquor habit by stealing drinks from tourists (as seen in the video).
What's interesting is that by studying these alcoholic monkeys, we can get some insight into human alcohol problems (and while you're at it, learn how to make greener cocktail drinks). Check out the video for more details on that.
The Vervet Monkey is not considered to be endangered on the IUCN list, but there is some concern about it: "In spite of low predator populations in many areas where human development has encroached on wild territories, this species is killed by electricity pylons, vehicles, dogs, pellet guns, poison and bullets and is trapped for traditional medicine, bush meat and for biomedical research. The vervet monkey has a complexed and fragile social system--their persecution is thought to have impacted on troop structures and diminishing numbers." (source)
This makes me wonder... What's next?
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