Scientists were surprised to find chimps using insects to treat each other's wounds

Scientists were surprised to find chimps using insects to treat each other's wounds ...

About 45 chimpanzees have lived in the Loango national park in Gabon, Africa, among the Roxy and Thea.

Alessandra Mascaro, a volunteer at the Ozunga Chimpanzee Project in Africa's Loango National Park, watched intently as Suzee, an adult female chimp, gently nurtured her son, Sia. He'd injured his foot.

"Later that evening, I rewatched my videos and saw that Suzee had first reached out to catch something, which she put between her lips and then directly onto the open wound," Mascaro About a week later, Lara Southern, a Ph.D. student at the project, saw an adult male chimp, Freddy, behaving in a similar manner.

Mascaro, Southern, and others knew what they'd witnessed. Suzee and Freddy had caught flying insects mid-air, softened them up in their mouths, applied them to gashes over the next year.

"Our observations provide the first evidence that chimpanzees are allowed to capture insects and apply them to open wounds," a primatologist, Tobias Deschner, the author of a research on the discovery, said in a statement.

Scientists have seen self-medication across animal species, including reptiles, birds, and mammals, but applying animal matter on open wounds hasn't been documented before.

The team claims that certain parts of the bugs may have anti-inflammatory or antiseptic properties, or that the practice may merely be part of local chimpanzee culture based on human medicine practices.

The most striking aspect of the chimpanzee medical procedure may be the fact that some of the documented instances involved a monkey treating the wounds of another.

"It's surprising to me that Littlegrey gave it to me, he applied it to his wound and then Carol and two other adult chimpanzees touched the wound and moved the insect on it," Southern said.

chimpanzees are expressing affection for their peers, as well as the use of doting, according to Pike. "Some of these cases of clear prosocial behavior are seldom observed in nonhuman species, according to the skeptics."

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