SOS: Call the ants | Science News


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SOS: Call the ants

Desert ants can do fancy rescue work, but for family only

11:39am, August 12, 2009

View a video of the ants attempting a rescue.

Caught in a snare and half-buried in desert sand — not a problem. Call your sisters.

Desert-dwelling Cataglyphis cursor ants can do sophisticated rescue work, even trying to use their own jaws of life to chew through a trap, according to comparative psychologist Karen Hollis of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. These ant rescue workers not only dig away sand and tug at the limbs of a half-buried victim but also cope with snares, biting at nylon lines that researchers use

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