The Ants That Were Used Like Stitches

Army ants are extraordinary architects with orderly societies, creating colonies to mind-blowing proportions. They aerate our soil, help break down dead wood, and are even considered some of the greatest builders of all time. One thing you may not know is that as far back as 12,000 years ago, ants have been known to make quite an impact on the medical field. Army ants are ideal when it comes to the healing process, and it’s all because of the spread of their mandibles. When grasped just behind the head, army ants will open their mandibles wide. Placing one mandible on each side of a cut, the ant will bite down and clamp onto the wound. The ant’s head is then snipped off while its clamped down, acting like a staple. The ant head stays in a locked position until the wound is healed, and then it’s removed. A wound could have several ant heads holding it closed, like buttons on a sweater. These tiny but mighty biters register about a 1.5 pain level, with 1 being the least amount of pain. While it might sound like a good idea to leave the healing to these little backyard helpers, this method isn’t exactly recommended by the doctors of today. Due to the lack of hygienic information associated with this treatment, it’s best to leave wound closure to the professionals. After all, a bandage is much better to look at than a severed ant head.