The Christian Science Monitor

Can altruism exist without empathy? Lessons from the ant world

Named for a famed group of Bantu warriors, the Matabele ant is renowned as a fierce fighter. But the sub-Saharan termite-hunter also shows a caring side.

Researchers have found that Megaponera analis, as scientists call it, will tend to the wounds of nest-mates. The only other animals that have been observed systematically treating others’ injuries are humans and some of our primate relatives.

In other words, ants and humans share what biologists call a convergent trait: caring

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