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Carpenter ants amputate the legs of their nestmates to save their lives, study says

·1 min

Humans aren’t the only ones capable of performing amputations to save lives. Florida carpenter ants have been observed biting off the injured limbs of nestmates to help them survive, according to a study. The ants are able to continue their duties within the nest despite losing a leg. The study builds on previous findings that a different ant species uses their mouths to prevent infections. The researchers were surprised to discover the amputation behavior and found that it is specific to injuries on the ants’ thighs. They believe the ants have learned over time that amputation prevents infection and increases colony productivity. The researchers are now looking to study wound care behavior in other ant species and across the animal kingdom.