In Photos: Animals That Get High

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High as a cat

Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Performance enhancing drugs recently soiled the reputation of one of humanity’s top athletes. Animals have no such scruples about doping. All levels of…Read More »

the animal kingdom from flies to top predators indulge in drugs and alcohol. Sometimes humans even push intoxicants on the creatures.

Jaguars seek out the leaves of the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, which contains a psychoactive chemical. After ingesting the leaves, the largest predator in South America will roll around like a housecat on catnip.

The Piaroa tribe believes that the vine increases the jaguars sensory perception and hunting skills, according to research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Piaroa hunters attempt to replicate the cat’s abilities by using the drug themselves, reportedly to improve their night vision and strength.

Others tribes use the vine as well. Shaman in numerous South American cultures use extracts from the vine along with other plants containing a hallucinogen to create the sacred mixture known as ayahausca or yage.

This slideshow was provided by Discovery News.   Less «
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