Peggy Mason , a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago who has studied how rats will rescue other rats from traps, says this is a great study that confirms that ants will rescue each other in certain situations. Well, not really," she says, noting that the ants don't seem to be intentionally helping each other. Wounded ants only get carried home if they're encountered after the battle.
Rats, in contrast, seem to have some sort of emotional response that triggers helping. Mason and her colleagues have found that giving rats an anti-anxiety drug seemed to take away their urge to release a distressed rat from a trap.
That's probably what drove this behavior to be selected for, and to evolve into a stable behavior. After all, she notes, "this is an army. They're going off to attack the termites.
And the more numerous you are, the more successful you are. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player.
Shots - Health News Don't call it empathy, scientists say. These termite-eating ants only retrieve injured comrades on the way home from a hunt, not before. But the hurt ants do recover better at home — to fight again.
Exhaustion killed others, while the predatory African stink an t, Paltothyreus tarsatus , targ eted a few. The researchers removed two legs, one from each side, of a few healthy ants and dropped them in front of an ant column returning from a hunt. The legions hauled the maimed back to the nest. But if the injured belonged to another nest, they attacked and dragged the intruders away from their raiding column. Back in the nest, ants tend their mates, removing clinging termites.
With their mobility restored, the insects recover, sometimes as quickly as an hour, and take part in future raiding parties. Although ants that lost their legs are handicapped for life, they get used to running on their remaining legs in 24 hours. The next day they run almost as fast as healthy ants.
Being rescued guarantees the survival of injured ants. What drives ants to help one another? Ants typically make a squeaky sound by rubbing a scrapper over tiny ridges in their rear sections called stridulation.
Could this be how wounded ants were calling for help? They can only feel the vibrations through the ground.
I believe this signal would have been too difficult to localise, unlike a chemical signal where you just have to follow the gradient. To rule out stridulation, the researchers painted black acrylic paint on the stridulatory organ of injured ants. These ants were still able to get aid from their colony mates.
Ants have glands all over their bodies. They smeared these on dead and live ants and watched how the others behaved toward them. Although the colony mates attempted to rescue the dead covered in mandibular compounds, they dropped them. The ants tried to haul away the live ones covered with mandibular gland secretions.
The injured ones cooperated by pulling their legs in, making it easier for their mates to carry them. But just as the rescuers dropped the dead, they also dropped many live ones. Some allowed the ant to carry them back. They shoved them off the column, perhaps not recognising them as their own.
Since the age of seven, Lucky Linderman has been having dreams in which he visits his grandfather in the prison camp where he's resided since being listed as MIA in the Vietnam War back in What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them? When Lucky and his mom moved to Arizona it added a whole new feeling, and excitement to the book. Or Hair, who is perfect and beautiful and confident at night with her crew cut friends and ninja running through parks and yards only later to change with the whistling! Want to Read saving…. Because it's so funny to be pushed or belittled. Ants have glands all over their bodies.
The researchers identified the c hemical compounds in the mandibular glands as the foul-smelling dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide using gas chromatography mass-spectrometry. Which is not to say these wood ants abjure violence in all its forms. They are quite capable of hunting down a wolf spider, killing it and dragging it back to their nest.
They will take down caterpillars, beetles, even butterflies.
It takes a lot of work to make fascinating television out of what is, essentially, a bunch of ants, but the narrative arc of their breeding habits is indeed extraordinary. Deep in their mounds the queens — up to a million per super colony — start laying. Their first eggs will produce the next breeding generation — a sort of royal household. These ants, males and females both, will sprout wings. After the larvae hatch, the worker ants head out to collect food, hunting more spiders or farming aphids, which excrete a sticky honeydew that ants love. Meanwhile, the identical, but decidedly less cooperative wood ants on the other side of the mountain are still busy killing each other.