Animals too, compulsively use drugs

Contrary to common opinion and assumption, animals other than man, also use drugs—and actually get high on them!

Stoned on ants

There are many theories as to why birds do anting, a behaviour in which the fowl rubs an ant over its feathers. The most interesting is that anting is addictive. Many ants secrete noxious compounds to make them less appetising to predators, and it is thought these compounds give the bird a high. After anting, some birds flap out thier beak and dance around. Others lay on the ground with their wings spread out flat as if blissed out of their avian minds.

A puff for the birds?

Birds have been captured picking up cigarette buts and weaving them into the structure of their nests. The nicotine in the butts drives out parasites which can be deadly to young chicks to have chromosomal abnormalities. Cigarettes are bad for infants of all sorts, it seems.

Cats and the catnip

Catnip is a perennial herb from the mint family and cats can’t get enough of it. The felines rub themselves on the plant and roll on the ground, meow loudly and produce beards of saliva. They also develop the large pupils of a stoned teenager. The herb contains a volatile oil which creates the high. The druga is harmless so they can return to it again and again with no ill effect. Lucky cats.

Dolphins plastered on puffer fish

Dolphins behaviour and social interactions make them seem almost human. And just like humans, it seems that teenage dolphins like to get high. Adolescent dolphins have been observed catching puffer fish and passing them around to others. They get stoned on the powerful neurotoxin that puffer fish use as defense. Once they have ingested the neurotoxin, the dolphins enter a trance-like state and hang motionless just below the surface of the water.

Lemurs and millipedes

The Black Lemurs of Madagascar have found millipedes to be handy pieces of medicinal kit. They catch the large creepy crawlies and bite them. The poor millipede unleashes its chemical defences, which include all manner of offensive smelling compounds. The lemur smears it all ovet its coat to drive off insects and other parasites. But the primate also gets high from the experience. It drools, rocks back and forth, and rubs itself in a drunken sort of way.

How crazy weed gets then crazy

Locoweed, also known as Crazy Weed, is actually a group of plants which all cause odd behaviour in animals— Locoism. When an animal get Locoism, they wander aimlessly, show extreme lethargy, and salivate excessively. None of the effects of Locoism seem that pleasant, but it is apparently an addictive experience for horses. They just go crazy for Crazy Weed.

Everyone loves alcohol

It is not just humans who adore alcohil. Elephants, deer, elk, monkeys, pigs, have all been spotted worse for wear after getting at alcoholic fruit. Birds have also been observed eating fermented berries. While these are mostly opportunists, scientists gave fruit flies access to two containers of fruit juice; one with alcohol and one without. Alcohol proved a winner for male fruit flies that had not mated recently, as if they were drinking their loneliness away…

Wallabies dont spare opium

Opium poppies, the source of heroin, morphine, and other opiods, is a hugely profitable crop in Australia. In Tasmania, Bennett’s wallabies have been found in the State-run opium fields getting heavily intoxicated. The wallabies crash into the fields and eat the poppies until they can no longer hop straight. It is not just wallabies either. There have been reports of sheep performing similarly darinf raids on opium fields.


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