the alcoholic vervet monkeys
biology 342 2012
By Sarah Resnick and Amanda Cernegie
first things first:
Alcoholism is pathologized as a problematic compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, and can be seen as detrimental to the sufferer's physical health and mental and emotional well-being. It is of the most common substance abuse disorders in humans, and one of the most common psychopathologies in general. Alcoholism is also one of the most commonly researched and well-funded pathologies, at least, in the human realm.
It is of relatively recent discovery that non-human mammals can also develop this disorder. This website will provide a brief behavioral overview of one of these non-human mammalian species: Chlorocebus pygerythrus, more commonly known as the vervet monkey, has been offered as a model species of human alcohol abuse .
-characterized as old world primates
-live primarily in Africa spending the majority of their time on the ground searching for water
-an omnivorous species, their diet consists of leaves, gum, seeds, nuts, fruit, berries, bird eggs, rodents
-they were transported as pets to the Caribbean and West Indian Islands where the largest population of alcoholic monkeys reside today
-they prefer brightly colored drinks as they more resemble the fruits which make up some of their diet
This video highlights common behaviors of the alcoholic vervet monkeys living in the Caribbean Islands. They congregate around resorts as they have learned that alcohol is readily available from the human guests. Their methods closely resemble a human alcoholic who will go to any lengths to acquire the substance.