Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ants as Surgical Staples

One of my interests is bugs. More specifically, creepy crawlies. Insects, some arachnids, slithery things, some worms. These are fascinating creatures with a whole slew of interesting things to teach us if we watch closely enough.
Most of us are familiar with the use of maggots in cleaning out necrotic tissue from wounds or leeches used to prevent blood from coagulating during microsurgery. I was thinking about ants today and how I had seen a documentary years ago about the ants' jaws being used to close wounds in a jungle setting. Or I read about it. A quick search of the 'net and I found a reference to soldier ants. Hold one or more of those guys over a wound, let 'em clamp down on it, then twist off the body and the death grip of the jaws holds the wound closed. Cool. One of those little bits of survival trivia I'll remember if I'm ever lost in the Amazon forest and I cut some part of my body and I don't have a surgical kit with me.


No comments: