Tippling with T-Rex?

This bronze wine vessel, dating back nearly 4,000 years, is proof of humanity’s long love affair with the fruit of the vine. Turns out, happy hour started well before that.

A new study finds that our longer-limbed ancestors evolved the ability to metabolize alcohol as far back as 10 million years. Earlier research had dated the first wine-induced headache to some 9,000 years ago, when intrepid humans first quaffed a cup of fermented fruit. So, if you’re inclined this season, raise a glass to our gorilla cousins who developed the gut digestive enzyme ADH4 that many of us now enjoy.   —Diane Richard, writer, December 4



Image: Martin Divisek / Bloomberg

Source: Melissa Healy, “Human ancestors developed a taste for alcohol 10 million years ago,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2014