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Carpenter Ants Perform Life-Saving Amputations to Treat Leg Injuries

Researchers have observed Florida carpenter ants (Camponotus floridanus) biting off the injured legs of their nestmates. By removing their companions' legs, the ants significantly improved their chances of survival, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Current Biology.

These surgeries are the first known example of non-human animals performing amputations to improve a fellow animal's odds of recovering, the authors say.

"Not only can they do this, but they are even able to diagnose the wounds and, depending on the location, adapt the treatment accordingly to maximize the survival chances of the injured," Erik Frank, first author of the new study and an ant researcher at the University of Würzburg in Germany, says to NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce. "I find that truly remarkable."

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/carpenter-ants-perform-life-saving-amputations-to-treat-leg-injuries-180984653/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial&spMailingID=49936199&spUserID=NTkyNzY2ODg1MzgyS0&spJobID=2740324940&spReportId=Mjc0MDMyNDk0MAS2

 

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