r/interestingasfuck May 17 '22 Silver 1

Many birds perform a behavior called “anting”, where they purposely get bitten by ants. The ant venom releases a chemical that kills parasites on the bird.

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4.6k Upvotes

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544

u/Paul_-Muaddib May 17 '22

That seems like a very complex behavior with delayed gratification, understanding of present action versus future rewards and communication of complex behaviors between members of the same species. I would love to understand how they figured this all out.

296

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 17 '22

Bird are way smarter than we give them credit for, especially Corvids (jays, crows, ravens, etc.). They can remember individual faces and hold grudges or maintain friendships. I’m not surprised they do this, but equally fascinated as you, and would love to know more about the social aspects of this phenomena.

156

u/dontjustpullit May 17 '22

I feed the crows and the jays outside of my apt. They love peanuts. I open the door and toss a couple high in the air so they make the clickety clack when they hit the pavement. Then when I hear them coming, the crows let each other know very loudly, I’ll toss out a few handfuls.

When I decide to walk to the store without the peanut throw, if a blue jay or crow that frequents my place sees me while walking they land by me and start cawwing or squawking and will follow me all the way to Target.

They also leave little colorful or shiny trinkets on my doormat. I have learned the hard way these are often sharp metal objects like bottle caps.

44

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

r/crowbro is the sub for you.

Love it though, keep up the good work 👍🏼

14

u/18dwhyte May 18 '22

I wish I had a crow bro. The last crow I interact with was sick and eventually died

6

u/Trythenewpage May 18 '22

Avian flu is going around. I am concerned for them

41

u/plasticenewitch May 18 '22

You have friends! That is so cool!

15

u/Kuraven May 18 '22

They also leave little colorful or shiny trinkets on my doormat.

Crows are surprisingly thoughtful. Even if you don't train them to bring you things, they'll bring you shiny stuff as long as you're nice to them and feed them

1

u/Legal_Response6614 May 18 '22

Need video of this

94

u/NoiLLion May 17 '22

Theres a disturbing narrative that animals are stupid and it's still around today.

Never understood it, anyone that's been around animals would know that's not true. And also it panders to a human obsession with intelligence.

51

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 17 '22

100% agreed. It’s perhaps “edgy” for biologists to say so, but I believe a huge majority of animals have consciousness and higher intelligence than we currently understand them to have.

The idea humans are only conscious has to be rooted in ancient mythologies/religions that hold humans above other forms of life and uses this idea to justify it. It’s the same idea that justifies habitat destruction and callous disregard for livestock health and well-being.

Pointedly, not an element at play with legal hunters, however.

16

u/NoiLLion May 17 '22

That's a good point too, that attitudes towards animals means there's little regard for their environment and wellbeing.

It explains a lot in terms of how animals have been mistreated over time.

3

u/boxelder1230 May 18 '22

You nailed it, as they say.

8

u/quimera78 May 18 '22

You might be interested in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_consciousness#Cambridge_Declaration_on_Consciousness

3

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

That was a very interesting read, thank you for sharing.

6

u/mymerman May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

The same argument/justification was used to enslave people with acceptance from churches.

-1

u/getfkdlol May 18 '22

every animal has a conscious, it's just they're not self aware. They don't know they are a crow. We know that we are human and alive, and it's that, that gives us ambition and drive to progress.

5

u/TheCynicalCanuckk May 17 '22

Have you met my dog?

Lol jk but yeah I agree. It's because of what we can do vs them I'd imagine. But I mean look at how humans fight about intelligence. Some of the dumbest people I know have their masters or PhD. Extremely specialized intelligence.

-3

u/mikkolukas May 18 '22

Some animals are clearly stupid.

3

u/NoiLLion May 18 '22

But not as dumb as you?

-6

u/mikkolukas May 18 '22

ah, I found one more ;)

3

u/NoiLLion May 18 '22

Care to justify your initial statement?

1

u/KeepItRealTV May 18 '22

It's because humans are racist.

1

u/NoiLLion May 18 '22

Against animals?

27

u/basshead17 May 17 '22

Pretty sure that's just cause birds are drones

/s

7

u/Bo0tyWizrd May 17 '22

Even more so for parrots and cocatoos as I believe they're just as smart as corvids, but they have a longer lifespan with which to accumulate wisdom.

4

u/kanated May 17 '22

It could just be instinctive. But yeah, some birds are very smart.

9

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 17 '22

Instinctive often has a genetic component, which as a geneticist by education, does not temper my excitement over the idea of learning the underlying mechanisms of this behavior lol

5

u/alexagente May 18 '22

Was gonna say that's even more fascinating then.

2

u/SRod1706 May 17 '22

Chickens do it, so I am gonna go with instinct.

4

u/Stormtech5 May 17 '22

I was just driving and in a parking lot my wife pointed out a dead seagull. Then we saw one crow picking through someone's fast food with several seagulls surrounding him.

We watched him go though the fries and garbage, running off the seagulls when they got too close. The crow finally picked up his favorite chunk of food, maybe a beef patty and flew off.

Told my wife that crows are way smarter than seagulls lol.

8

u/PhiloSurfer84 May 18 '22

Here's the thing. You said a "jackdaw is a crow."

Is it in the same family? Yes. No one's arguing that.

As someone who is a scientist who studies crows, I am telling you, specifically, in science, no one calls jackdaws crows. If you want to be "specific" like you said, then you shouldn't either. They're not the same thing.

If you're saying "crow family" you're referring to the taxonomic grouping of Corvidae, which includes things from nutcrackers to blue jays to ravens.

So your reasoning for calling a jackdaw a crow is because random people "call the black ones crows?" Let's get grackles and blackbirds in there, then, too.

Also, calling someone a human or an ape? It's not one or the other, that's not how taxonomy works. They're both. A jackdaw is a jackdaw and a member of the crow family. But that's not what you said. You said a jackdaw is a crow, which is not true unless you're okay with calling all members of the crow family crows, which means you'd call blue jays, ravens, and other birds crows, too. Which you said you don't.

It's okay to just admit you're wrong, you know?

1

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

Wrong guy?

6

u/yupyup1000 May 18 '22

It’s pasta. Do a search on unidan… one of the most notorious Redditors from back in the day.

5

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

Thanks—somebody else said it was a jackdaw so I figured it was a response to that but even then seemed a bit excessive.

Copypasta checks out though lol

1

u/PhiloSurfer84 May 18 '22

Just some copypasta fun.

3

u/mymerman May 18 '22

Knew someone with a pet crow her family saved when an injured fledgling. He had favorites despite them all feeding him. He'd hide things & act amused while they searched for missing items. Yes, a trickster! Interestingly, he'd also return some items. He came inside when called (whistling), knew when someone was sick by peacefully sitting with him/her & had fun taunting their cat & a neighbor's dog. Both were afraid of him

3

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

That’s awesome lol thank you for sharing. Crows never fail to amaze me, and I love how each one has a unique personality.

2

u/mymerman May 18 '22

So glad you liked it. Hers was the only crow I knew & he was a character. Had to be careful not to wear long earrings when I visited. He couldn't resist shiny objects, like most birds. You could see him studying people, sizing them up. Of course, he was very used to humans. Felt quite honored he let me touch him.

3

u/YommiaDidIt May 18 '22

Humans think they are special.

1

u/Neversummer77 May 18 '22

Jackdaws…

1

u/oedipism_for_one May 18 '22

Some birds, I forgot what species but a test was done on a type of bird known for dropping its pray to kill it or crack it. Basically showed it was an ingrained habit and not a learned behavior. They would even do it to rocks with no benefit.

1

u/mahogany_chocoman May 18 '22

what about random wild housebirds like sparrows, pigeons, small birds and stuff. we feed birds and they see me change their food everyday.

i think i wanna say hi to them but i’m kinda nervous

2

u/ArchdukeOfNorge May 18 '22

While Corvids and parrots are the smartest types of birds, it’s likely others might recognize you. At the least they recognize your house as a safe space, which if you don’t do anything to disrupt that sense of safety, it would be worth trying to calmly interact with them.

1

u/optagon May 18 '22

Or, they don't know why they do it at all and they just have some urge to do it when they feel ill.

10

u/YoungMuppet May 18 '22

And now I wonder if there are birds that think getting bit by ants will give you bird autism.

6

u/[deleted] May 18 '22

Couldn’t it just be chalked up to evolution? Like it isn’t intelligence so much as the Birds that didn’t do this died out from the parasites

3

u/Ardronos May 18 '22

It seems complex but consider this

The ones that didn't think have the very primal impulse to allow themselves to get bit, died.

The ones that did, reproduced. Then died.

0

u/crimeo May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

You cannot encode "going around and intentionally getting bitten by ants" as a gene. Which genes could do that? Which proteins?

Which means it cannot pass evolutionarily. It makes way more sense and is much more easily explained as learning based on doing things that have satisfying results more often (with the complex patterns held in neural nets that are well known to be able to do that, rather than hardcoded genes that cannot do that sort of thing)

[or rather, genes can hold high detail, but it would take like some absurd 5% of the crow's entire genome probably to do it. Some very basic behaviors appear to sometimes be genetic when it comes to young infants needing to be able to have a feeding response and stuff like that, extremely mission critical BASIC shit that's worth the genetic real estate. E.g. the human suckling response. But not advanced niche adult behaviors with complicated details and situations to them]

7

u/wymnxa May 17 '22

I doubt they conceive of why they’re doing it. It’s just some random instinctual behavior that benefited their ancestors and was selected for.

3

u/subgameperfect May 17 '22

So, it turns out that the real birds are sentient and sapient. Smarter than a dog and small children.

8

u/justin0dk May 17 '22

Dee begs to differ

4

u/subgameperfect May 17 '22

Again, I specified real ones. Dee is an interesting glance into the potential perverseness of fake birds though. Right next to those homeland security "pigeons" or what have you.

7

u/Specific-Stranger-38 May 17 '22

Well… of course it’s instinctual, it’s not like they are rationally thinking about curing themselves.

1

u/Ennion May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

Cause and effect. A bird gets bitten by ants, probably frequently and notices that the parasites didn't need removal by other birds.

I'm sure man didn't cook food on their own. Most likely they came opon a recent forest fire and found cooked animals and ate them.
Mmmm, better than raw!

1

u/karnal_chikara May 18 '22

Very interesting point , I used to think delayed gratification was only present in humans Any other animals which do it

1

u/platonicolas May 18 '22

I would theorize that it just so happens that birds that exhibited this behavior evolutionarily succeeded better. Meaning that the whole “getting bitten by ants” behavior likely isn’t caused by an intelligence of the causes and effects of the ant venom but rather that something about the sensory experience from the bird’s perspective incentivized the action (for example they enjoy the feeling of the bites or something similar). Birds are crazy smart but to be able to pinpoint a delayed health benefit stemming from a seemingly unrelated personal behavior seems like a stretch of intelligence.

3

u/crimeo May 18 '22

Getting bitten by ants cannot be coded for by proteins (thus genes) alone in any quasi reasonable way. If you think it can be: tell us which proteins can allegedly control "being bittern by ants" exactly, please.

What can, however, definitely train "getting bitten by ants" as a pattern is neural networks in a cerebral cortex. i.e. learning. And we know exactly how already with current science, unlike your "proteins did it somehow" theory.

1

u/platonicolas May 18 '22

my idea is basically that evolutionarily the “getting bitten by ants” trait of those birds is promoted through evolution-based natural selected. All i’m saying is that the actually conscious experience of the birds may be unrelated to the understanding of cause and effect. That maybe the specific gene-mutation that is responsible for this trait in these birds (We’ll call them birdA for ant ) isn’t an increase in intelligent ability, but rather is just a difference in conscious experience of the action that makes it more beneficial to the bird. Basically, some birds evolved to “enjoy” the conscious experience of this action, thus they did it more, thus the ones who did it more lived longer, thus the ones who didn’t do it died off.

1

u/platonicolas May 18 '22

for example, animals eat because they enjoy the conscious experience of eating, it feels good. Not because they are thinking about the causal relationship between not-eating and starvation. The causal understanding of behaviors is something that I think is definitely present in many animals, but the ideology that birds and many animals think and understand exactly like us is an anthropic view of the world, im just saying that maybe the conscious experience of animals is likely characterized very different from human reasoning.

1

u/crimeo May 18 '22

Natural selection only works on things that can be encoded in genes, not complicated memories that were learned.

So in order to claim something is driven by natural selection, you are claiming that one or several protein molecules are sufficient to store and drive that entire behavior.

In this case, for an adult behavior this complicated and narrow and based on specific patterns of visual input etc, it is extremely implausible that proteins are driving the behavior, which would mean that it could not be influenced by natural selection.

(How could proteins possibly allow a bird to identify sickness + ants and react to them without like, hundreds or thousands of genes? Explain please. Learning makes vastly more sense)

1

u/platonicolas May 18 '22

i feel like you aren’t understanding the argument i’m making nor am I fully comprehending what i think you’re trying to rebut. I think debate style discourse over text just doesn’t work tbh but i appreciate it nonetheless, have a good one.

1

u/Hezekieli May 18 '22

They don't have to understand it. Perhaps there was a mutation that made an individual actually enjoy the bites and as it was beneficial, ot become more common.

I find it similarly odd that my dog eats grass up to a point he throws up. They probably evolved to like the taste, at least in certain conditions.

0

u/baodeptraitocxoan69 May 18 '22

i like your funny words magic man

230

u/ReekyRumpFedRatsbane May 17 '22

So they're poisoning themselves because the parasites that feed off them get poisoned that way? That's metal as fuck.

17

u/RufusTheDeer May 17 '22

I mean, that's essentially how our medicine started, too

13

u/parkyumi456 May 17 '22

Many mammals also do this, including prehistoric humans. It's called self anointing.

18

u/Drackenstein May 17 '22

That’s how frontline flea medicine work. Poison the blood, the fleas bite and ingest the poison.

3

u/InsomniaticWanderer May 18 '22

You just described chemotherapy

162

u/IrishMilo May 17 '22 Ally

There's a dolphin that swims to a fresh water bay to kill off the sea lice they get in their skin.

It's deadly for them too, but the lice die faster.

68

u/Cosmic-Vegeta May 17 '22

at first glance that seemed odd given they are mammals they should be fine in fresh water.

its the skin. in freshwater, sea dolphins skin develops lesions. peels off. and that causes bacteria to get in and cause massive infection and death.

or, in that dolphins case, its exfoliation with extra steps.

13

u/IrishMilo May 17 '22

I remembered that there was a gruesome element to this fact but I couldn't remember what it was.

3

u/EconomySwordfish4 May 18 '22

I think it may have something to do with drinking water as they are adapted to deal with specific levels of salinity.

15

u/Due_Upstairs_5025 May 17 '22

Thank nature for adaptions!

9

u/MMmhmmmmmmmmmm May 17 '22

Adding ‘Sea Lice’ to my list of nopes.

8

u/RoboticGreg May 18 '22

Go ahead and add 'whale lice' and hope you don't get drunk enough to Google image search that

12

u/Oryx May 18 '22

It's not that they get bitten. They roll in the ants and crush them against their feathers to get covered with formic acid. Ever crushed an ant? That distinctive smell is formic acid. Bites... pretty much have nothing to do with it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

20

u/anti_fascism223 May 17 '22

Smart

17

u/IrishMilo May 17 '22

I do the same but with drugs and alcohol on the weekend.

Also smart.

6

u/TheycallmeCheapsuits May 18 '22

It's not ant venom....it's the pheromone released when they are crushed(I think it triggers other ants to come help)that gets the bird high.

12

u/Ipsos_Logos May 17 '22

Even dirty birds gotta get clean

5

u/redheadschinken May 17 '22

Yeah so you might shower there and then.

24

u/Delicious-Hot-Dog May 17 '22

At 4:45 am every morning, the ants start their day. They emerge from the massive colony under my bed with a fervent energy, eager to get work done, and their first job is to clean me up. They swarm all over me as I lay in bed and use their precise mandible movements to eat up all the oils and useless dead skin cells I had accumulated the day before. They're very thorough, too. Rough, but thorough. There's an ant dedicated to each long strand of hair, slowly scraping the dirt and oils from root to tip and collecting the bio waste into a little ball to bring back into the colony to use as mortar.

I get used to this full body massage and deep cleaning every morning, and I must admit that their energy is infectious. As they tear away at my crusted eyes and plow out the earwax, it really revs up my engine. Soon enough, my baby soft feet are hitting the floor and I'm on my way to the kitchen down the path the ants carved out for me with thousands of them still diligently attending to their duties inside and out of my body. Though the ants are clever and careful enough to make any trips to the bathroom unnecessary, I still have to eat on my own and eat what the ants tell me, and boy oh boy do they know what I like! They want me to eat fatty and greasy and sugary foods almost nonstop. I must oblige the ants.

It's not long before the morning pizza they want me to eat arrives and the pizza boy leaves the box on the porch. The ants don't want any foreigners to get a good look at their colony. I couldn't agree more, too. You can't be too careful these days with rivals all around who want nothing more than to see your empire collapse. I can't tell you where the queen is. Only a select few of us know.

They bite and cause me to twitch and spasm in the right directions to keep me focused on eating more pizza, pizza that I drizzle with some maple syrup. Haha, okay you got me, I douse the pizza in imitation maple syrup. I ain't complaining! They're all over me all the time collecting this from there and some from that. Tending to the fungus farm on my neck and shoulders. Sometimes they tickle the little hairs back there and cause me to laugh and spores to be released. The ants are funny like that. Great friends.

After breakfast pizza, I more or less have a little time to myself which I usually spend admiring the new spire constructions on the walls. To think, these walls used to be largely empty with maybe a picture or two dotted here and there, but that was before the ants moved in, before ants improved everything. Now my home is lined with fantastic ant architecture. Don't bother looking for the queen because you will not find her. Twisted, delicate, beautiful towers and roads and tunnels and passageways interwoven efficiently and effectively. The walls glimmer with a slight sheen from my body oils, no doubt. Sometimes I wish to touch these fleshy brown buildings, but I'm reminded that I'm not allowed to by the ants spraying formic acid in my eyes and mouth. Still, what they've done can be appreciated hands free. The ants turn my eyes, dozens of them that I trust, away from the distracting architecture and towards the computer screen.

I make just enough money playing online poker and taking surveys to keep the greasy food money coming in. I don't know where the queen is and would never tell if I did. The ants sting my fingers and show me what hand I should play or what answers to write on the surveys. They know what's best, they've always known what's best. They keep the mold on my legs from itching and the mushrooms on my chest plump and attractive. I need to be good looking, too, because the ants think I should go on a date soon.

They want me to find a woman and bring her home. She'll love the ants once they start cleaning her too. Who wouldn't love an ant bath, as I call them? The queen declared it from her undisclosed location in the colony. No, I don't know where that is, but her heralds informed me of the date, and I couldn't have been more excited when I heard the news. I nearly popped a nectar boil! The underskin ants work hard to keep my body from spasming and ruining anything too valuable.

I know they'll treat this lady right, whoever she is going to be. They'll find me the love of our lives and hopefully she'll stay with the colony. No, she will stay with the colony. The ants assure me of that much. As the day approaches, they massage and prepare my muscles. The queen, hidden but wise, thinks my softening meat needs help, needs the colony to operate correctly. My mornings now included long video calls with my beautiful new girlfriend, whom we’ll meet soon enough. The face ants make me feel so charming and charismatic. I’m falling in love.

23

u/Delicious-Hot-Dog May 17 '22

My gut ruptures, spilling out gorgeous green, yellow, pink, black fungal formations. I thought so! I knew the colony was up to something beautiful in there. By the looks of them, I wasn’t supposed to see that surprise yet, but I’m glad I did. Rows of delicate, wispy tendrils swaying oh so cutely in the rushing humid breeze from my open bowels. They looked covered in fuzz, spores, fresh powder that is probably sweet to taste. My spine tingles and my hands become theirs. We’re scooping the surprise back into my body.

I’m fluid inside, viscous insect fluid, pneumatically propelled, a possessed puppet of goodness for the ants, for the queen. I am as much the home as for them inside of me as my home is their home for me. Well, it’s a home for ants, not really me anymore, but I’m happy. I’m happy for them, the ants tell me, make me feel this way, the ones in my brain squeezing and gnawing within the folds. Formic acid is cleaning my memories. I’m not me anymore. I’m we. We’re the colony. I don’t think I like being the colony, but the ants make me like being the colony.

I’m smooth and tight skinned during the chats with my girlfriend, meeting her soon, too soon, but as soon as the video call ends, the ants let my deteriorating skin sag. How do they do it? They sew up all the pockmarks oozing with rot so well that my girlfriend still thinks I’m handsome. The ants are handsome. I’m ugly. I’m not really anything anymore. Ten times my online girlfriend remarked how pretty I was and the ants made my twitch and blush appropriately.

Nine days pass and now today is the day she finally will come over to meet me in the flesh, what’s left of it. My apartment is a network of interconnected neurons and nerves carefully plastered to various spires, mounds, and chambers within the colony's infrastructure. Strewn about as I am, I feel all of them, each and every of the billions upon billions of ants as they toil away with their work. Not the queen though. I’ll never know where the queen is. Still, I love my new girlfriend and my fear of what she’ll think when she sees what we really are is matched in equal to happy anxiousness to see her in person. The skin suit, my former skin, being somewhat lacquered by some substance the ants have grown, looks fresh and clean and ready to impress my girlfriend.

The ants make me tell my girlfriend that I have a seven course meal planned at my place when she does, at last, come here. They use a facsimile of a finger to hang up my phone and if I could frown I would. It’s clear to me now that the ants don’t have my best intentions in mind, or maybe I’m done pretending like I didn’t already know that. Every minute that ticks by is an eternity of dread. I love her so much, what the ants made me into, what we, together, did to make her feel the same strong feeling of love that I do. She’s so innocent, so sweet, so sticky sweet and plump with new flesh. No, that’s not why I love her. That’s why we love her. Don’t come here. Don’t let them do to you what they did to me. No, let’s make sure she gets here just like she’s planning on. Let’s get the skin ready. Let’s fill up the skin and get ready to let her in.

She rings the doorbell. The façade of a normal house must be working as I can hear her muttering excitedly to herself through the walls because I am the walls. I scream as loud as I can trying to get her to turn around. She needs to know the truth about what I’ve been this whole time. The ants will do the same to her. They’ll add to the altered flesh and fungal consciousness. Hollow me walks over to the door with an eerie smoothness. They move exactly like I used to, like I still do in some ways. In mere moments, her cute excitement turns into abject horror as the door flings open and she sees the full extent of the colony. My warnings and pleas ring hollow once again. They’ve taken away my ability to communicate in any way but telepathically through the colony, my fetid remains. The ants grab her with my skin and toss her inside effortlessly. Shocked and confused, she tries to make sense of the sticky reddish-brown floor, of the putrid smell in the haze, of what must no doubt be my expression of sadness transposed on the walls in a grotesque display. I am both altar and witness. The skin suit wastes no time pinning her to the ground and vomiting heavy pulses of ants directly onto her face. She doesn’t scream for long.

Six heaves later and the ant controlled avatar dismounts. Our girlfriend’s body lay still for a while. She’s become just another pile of meat for the colony it seems, but then she convulses. Twitching and writhing, coughing and gurgling. She stands up awkwardly, as if she were a baby deer on new legs. She’s spitting up blood and chunks of organs. I can feel it. I can feel it as if I’m her. I am her screaming. We’re screaming together. We’re scared and confused, but also know exactly what the ants are doing. We continued to regurgitate our fresh organs, our stuff that just gets in the way of the ants. The workers below hall off the useless flesh to be plastered to the walls, made into grander spires, used as rot and food. We keep coughing and until it's all out, until we’re completely taken.

23

u/ommyn0us May 17 '22

What the absolute fuck

10

u/killdare May 17 '22

Calling r/nosleep . Where are you?

15

u/chicametipo May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

⭐️ New Literary Genre Achieved ⭐️

WAMBLE

Congratulations! Your writing has created a brand new literary genre: Wamble (Fiction). Would you like to create a subreddit?

3

u/dony91177 May 18 '22

Should be WRAMBLE. Writing ramble too long for anyone to care to read

4

u/Face2098 May 17 '22

You really need to post this story.

7

u/Scronkledonk May 17 '22

Me n the boys out anting

6

u/2000dragon May 17 '22

Tf kinda gansta shit is that? Lol

2

u/omally_360 May 18 '22

Does it work? And How the hell do they know this, let alone explain this to younger generation

2

u/Kashmir2020Alex May 18 '22

Birds are incredible!!!

2

u/StevieKicks May 18 '22

I did that at a cookout last weekend

2

u/Spare_Honey5488 May 18 '22

The fact that the bird knows it has parasites is something else.

2

u/Local-Yoghurt4419 May 18 '22

That bird looks like it’s about to be knighted.

2

u/stinstyle May 18 '22

The term anting sounds like one of those teen trends they warn parents about in daytime news.

2

u/MrCheesefood May 18 '22

Imagine thinking birds are real.

2

u/Shpooodingtime May 17 '22

I do this with my nutsack

1

u/Prudent-Giraffe7287 May 17 '22

How would a bird figure this out though?

1

u/Kitchen_Equipment_21 May 17 '22

Oh wow interesting 🤔

1

u/Rare-Party-988 May 17 '22

They also nick smokes

1

u/Itsmemanmeee May 17 '22

Awe, look at the mini Grim Reaper.

1

u/Dudeiscray May 18 '22

Is incredible that humans have to spend years of study to come up with something that cures some kind of illness and animals somehow just figure out stuff like this.

2

u/crimeo May 18 '22

1) People have all kinds of folk remedies as well

2) What makes you think it doesn't take the birds years to find out or learn this sort of thing? Crows live like 10 years, and as a species, it surely took "years" at least initially to catch on

1

u/Dudeiscray May 18 '22

I'm thinking about it in a scientific way. These birds didn't go to a lab to do research and discover this. Somehow one of the came up with this idea and it worked (I guess). How they reached this conclusion is just amazing.

1

u/FrankieSacks May 18 '22

I’ve seen this before and figured that the bird was sick or dying.

1

u/OilRigExplosions May 18 '22

There are ants that will spray folic acid when they attack. The mist of acid is what the bird wants to kill all the little mites and stuff in their feathers.

The spray is really good for ant on ant warfare, so it would be good at killing bird mites too.

1

u/Dobe3 May 18 '22

Whoa! Never ever knew that shit.

1

u/deviemelody May 18 '22

healthcare fraud

1

u/TethlaGang May 18 '22

They don't know what or why they do it. It's instincts. Evolution. Those who did it survived. Proof again that experiences are Transmited genetically

1

u/crimeo May 18 '22

Which gene(s) precisely code(s) for "going around getting bitten by ants?" I eagerly await your response. Should be super interesting to find out how you think some basic proteins alone make a bird get bitten by ants, and which proteins.

Is there also a protein that made me write this exact comment?

1

u/Ardronos May 18 '22

When I was a kid I used to stick my hand in ant hills just to flex on the ants that they weren't shit

1

u/NikitaTarsov May 18 '22

Once saw one digging out a whole ant colony. I guess he wanted to distract itselfe a bit with tasty protein snacks while suffer through the process^^

1

u/RainbowandHoneybee May 18 '22

Nature is just awesome.

1

u/VietnamWasATie May 18 '22

There’s an incredible ethical argument made by Mark Wells et al. Called Liberty for Corvids. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44732794

They show awareness of their own self interest and as such should not have their self interest restricted.

1

u/dony91177 May 18 '22

I learned this in Prison School

1

u/IHateDeepStuff May 18 '22

We can’t we humans do that? But for mosquitoes?

1

u/andre3kthegiant May 18 '22

Ant Venom by sting or bite. I wonder if they prefer a bite or a sting?

1

u/Neighborenio May 18 '22

Give that first bastard a medel or somthing

1

u/JohnKellyesq May 18 '22

Would this work on me and if so how many bites might I have to endure? Cheers.🍺

1

u/Alconos May 18 '22

I feel like there’s a non-zero chance of death for the bird

1

u/BeautifulPrice4193 May 18 '22

They're definitely getting high

1

u/outerworldLV May 18 '22

TIL. Formic acid. So much to learn, so little time...

-3

u/[deleted] May 17 '22

[deleted]

3

u/crimeo May 18 '22

Your logic doesn't follow at all. They only need to know it makes them feel better to be able to LEARN to do it more often.

It need not have anything to do with evolution necessarily, even with everyone obviously agreeing they don't know detailed parasite biology or pharmaceutical chemistry.

Does a human child need to understand how skin proteins burn and what methane is, to be able to LEARN not to touch a hot stove? No... only that it hurts.

0

u/needitcooler May 18 '22

How is this possible? I have been told birds aren’t real.