Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Matabele ant, an African termite-hunting ant named for a famed warrior tribe, appears to have evolved a soldier's creed of its own: After the battle, leave no ant behind. In a paper published last week in the journal Science Advances, researchers describe how Megaponera analis ants, a species of large ant known for marching in columns and raiding termite colonies, will, after the battle, pick up injured comrades and carry them back to the nest where they can recover. The paper is the latest in a growing body of research that suggests that this form of helping behavior, previously observed in some mammals and birds, may not require complex emotion or cognition, and may, therefore, be far more widespread in nature than previously thought.

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- where they can recover.

Was this observed? cuz I'm thinking they were fed to the queen.

#1 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-04-18 07:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


@#1

Yes, it was observed. From the paper...

... Ants that were carried back to the nest were observed again in subsequent raids 95% of the time (n = 38 of 40), sometimes less than an hour after the injury (individuals were marked with acrylic color codes for recognition). Termites clinging onto extremities were removed in 90% of the cases in the following 24 hours without removing the extremity (n = 20), thereby completely rehabilitating the handicapped individual. Ants that had lost two randomly selected legs were able to recover in the safe confines of the nest. Twenty-four hours after their injury, they reached mean running speeds 32.1% faster than freshly injured ants, a speed not significantly different from that of healthy individuals (Fig. 3 and table S2). ...

[emphasis mine]

I like how it is described multiple times in the paper how ants remove termite parts from their injured comrades.

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-18 07:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I like my story better.

#3 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-04-18 08:06 PM | Reply

Twenty-four hours after their injury, they reached mean running speeds 32.1% faster than freshly injured ants, a speed not significantly different from that of healthy individuals

In the future, we will all have six limbs if I have anything to say about it.

#4 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-04-18 09:52 PM | Reply

If the ants had political parties, they'd only save their comrades half of the time.

#5 | Posted by rcade at 2017-04-19 09:42 PM | Reply

Ants also engage in slavery and what could be called genocide.

#6 | Posted by Tor at 2017-04-19 10:23 PM | Reply

Interesting read & video!

#7 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-04-20 12:46 AM | Reply

Liberal ants seeking free food are quite a nuisance in our kitchen...

#8 | Posted by gr8american at 2017-04-20 01:05 AM | Reply

Conservative ants, pretending to save their injured brothers are really just bring home lunch.

#9 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-20 04:29 AM | Reply

Ants also engage in slavery and what could be called genocide.

#6 | POSTED BY TOR AT 2017-04-19 10:23 PM | REPLY

Argentine and Fire ants are currently engaged in a full blown world war.

#10 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2017-04-20 01:39 PM | Reply

The ants all serve a single queen ant.

I bet which way they voted.

#11 | Posted by Petrous at 2017-04-20 01:46 PM | Reply

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