Meet the ant species with a strict “no nestmate left behind” policy.
African Matabele ants regularly risk death and injury while hunting down termites. So when one ant is hurt in the pursuit of prey, its nestmates will carry it to safety, scientists found.
The rescue not only saves the fallen comrade, it also helps the entire colony by keeping the population from dwindling, a German research team said in a new study in Science Advances.
While common to nearly every Hollywood war movie, dramatic rescues are extremely rare among predators. Before this study, it wasn’t known that insects even had this rescue reflex, said Erik Frank, a doctoral student University of Würzburg and the study’s co-author. Read more…