You might expect that deliberately inducing a potentially harmful, chemically-altered state of consciousness is unique to humans and our inventive pursuits of recreation. Turns out we're not the only ones who like to get lit - animals get drunk and do drugs too, and not just when stumbling on human parties or participating in human experiments. Animals like drugs they find on their own, in the wild.If you're ever looking for some unconventional drinking buddies, you could try a night out with these animals, but beware - they go hard.
A species of magic mushrooms called "fly agaric" is very important to the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe and Siberia. The fungus took these people on important vision quests, and are also a favorite snack of reindeer, a culturally crucial animal in the region. At some point, it was discovered that humans and reindeer could get doubly high off the shrooms by first imbibing them, then drinking the piss of those who imbibed. Waste not!
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Catnip is made from a plant in the same family as mint. So domesticated cats can get their fix in the wild, if so desired. The stoned, mellow behavior cats manifest in response to the plant is also apparently genetic. Some cats aren't so crazy about it, some are.
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Treeshrews Get Hammered
Malaysian treeshrews enjoy the fermented nectar of the bertam palm. Scientists measured the alcohol content of this drink at about 3.8 percent. The shrews don't seem to be all that affected in their behavior or motor functions, despite going for second or third helpings, and consuming an equivalent of nine alcoholic drinks in an evening.
South American jaguars regularly ingest the leaves of the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi. High doses of compounds in the plant induce diarrhea and vomiting, so scientists believe jaguars eat it to purge their intestinal tract of parasites. However, they also behave like cats on catnip after eating it, and the substance reportedly heightens their senses to improve their hunting skills.
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