It’s long been believed that humans started drinking alcohol about 9 thousand years ago, but a recent scientific discovery shows that the tippling began closer to 9 million years back.
It’s long been believed that humans started drinking alcohol about 9 thousand years ago, but a recent scientific discovery shows that the tippling began millions of years ago.
A genetic mutation was discovered to have developed in ancestral apes eons ago, and its purpose may have been to metabolize ethanol more effectively.
Based on their findings, scientists guess that the early beings had their first nip some time around the year 10 million BCE.
The source was likely the naturally fermenting fruit eaten when food was scarce and options were few.
Evolutionary timing supports the theory, as that’s about when apes came down from the trees and started living on land.
To arrive at their conclusion, researchers at Florida’s Santa Fe College focused on a specific set of digestive enzymes and traced their development.
Their exploration involved moving backwards along the family trees of 28 species over 70 million years of evolution.
Now that they’ve scientifically dated when the change occurred, their next step is to learn more about its effects.
The team would like to extend their study into testing the fruit for alcohol content and primates for their attitudes towards it.
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