Creature doctors and their amazing treatments!

It’s not just humans who reach out for natural cures when ailments bother us. Animals, birds and even butterflies do it. This month is dedicated to these self-medicating smart creatures, for there’s so much to learn from them!

Fruit flies drinking alcohol
Illustration: © Rama Ramesh

Drowning out sorrows

Most interesting among insects are the fruit flies, though. Being insects used to rotting and fermenting fruits, alcohol is easy to come by. Fruit flies infected by parasitic wasps have one way to get rid of them — they consume excess amounts of alcohol! The fruit flies literally drink to drown their sorrows — wasps causing them much trouble. Most surprisingly, the insects are able to manage fine even after drinking toxic levels of alcohol.

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Rama Ramesh
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Rama Ramesh

Rama Ramesh is a creative writer who has written stories and features for children’s magazines and has co-authored a series of nanotechnology books for kids.