Don’t Worry, Humans, Fish Are Silly Drunks Too

All right, bud, I'm calling you a crab!

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Do you “drink like a fish?” Then according to a study published this week in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Researchyou might be a negative influence on everyone around you. New research reveals the impact that alcohol has on schools of zebrafish, and it sounds… familiar.

Professor Muarizio Porfiri of NYU chose zebrafish as his specimens because of their easily observable social heirarchy. The researchers got the fish drunk by pouring precise doses of ethanol into their aquariums, and observed the impact that being inebriated had on a singular fish as well as its entire school. The team saw that “tipsy” fish swam faster than their sober counterparts and caused others to speed up in response, while zebrafish given larger doses of ethanol often fell behind the group.

Porfiri explained in an NYU Press Release that one drunkard could impact the behavior of all its fishy friends:

It is clear that the untreated fish were matching the swimming speed of the alcohol-exposed fish, and this correlation was especially strong at an intermediate level of alcohol exposure. At very high or low levels, the influence decreases.

At least fish don’t have the memory capacity to remember every drunken antic in cringe-inducing detail. Or tiny little debit cards they can forget at sandbars.

(via Gizmodo and  Popular Science, image via Klaus Stiefel)


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