Scientists discover ants have evolved effective wound treatment through amputation

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Source-This post on Scientists discover ants have evolved effective wound treatment through amputation has been created based on the article “Scientists Discover ants have evolved effective wound treatment: Amputation” published in “Indian Express” on 5 July 2024.

Why in the news?

Scientists found that Florida carpenter ants perform amputations on their injured nest mates as a form of wound treatment.

Key Findings of the study

1. Amputations are performed only on certain leg injuries, suggesting methodical and targeted surgical practices. This is the first known instance of an ant species using amputation to treat an injury.

2. Amputations significantly improve survival rates, with ants surviving 90% of the time after amputation of limbs.

3. Consensual Amputations: The procedure appears consensual, with injured ants presenting their leg to another ant for amputation. After the leg is amputated, the wounded ant cleans the wound itself, followed by another ant finishing the cleaning process.

4. Selective Amputations: Amputations are only performed on ants with thigh injuries, not on lower leg injuries.

5. Researchers tracked amputees and found that survival rates of those with lower leg injuries were only 20%. Scans revealed multiple muscles in the ants’ thighs that help in hemolymph regulation, making thigh injuries less fatal.

6. It has been found that thigh injuries result in rapid infection spread if not amputated, leading to the evolution of this behavior in ants. The behavior indicates a complex level of social organization and understanding among ants.

7. This finding might suggest similar behaviors in other species and provides insight into ant social dynamics and medical behavior.

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