Warrior ants carry injured comrades home: researchers discover

Warrior ants carry injured comrades home: researchers discover

The common Soldier’s Creed that Army recruits learn during their basic training including the idea that no fallen comrade should be left behind. But, this quality isn’t unique to human soldiers.

And never leaving a fallen comrade is also the rule for some warriors who are ants, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

Warrier ants called Megaponera analis hunt and eat termites. Scouts go out to find termites, and then return to their nest to give information about the location termites and muster the troops.

Biologist Erik Frank explained that in their study they found that 200 to 500 ants marched out and attacked termites. The fierce battle continued for around 20 minutes. Some ants were found carrying some ants as well.

Frank, a doctoral student at Germany’s University of Würzburg, said, “The ants start collecting the termites to return, and I was wondering, 'What exactly was going on there? Why were they carrying some of the ants?' It turns out, those transported ants weren't dead — they were injured.”

The researchers reported their findings in Wednesday (April 12th) edition of the journal Science Advances.


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