Incredible ways animals can heal

Nature can be truly surprising sometimes, and thanks to the diversity of life on Earth, we can experience some incredible strategies that help animals and plants to survive. Below you can read about how some animals can manage to heal themselves in surprising ways.


Macaws eat dirt for a good reason (Photo: / Couleur)

Just imagine that you've eaten something bad and your stomach hurts - you'll likely to take some medication to improve your situation. Some birds - especially wild parrots living in South-America - also tend to cure their digestive system in a similar way. They tend to eat food that may contain some toxins, and to neutralize those toxins, the birds eat clay and dirt. The other reason why they usually eat clay is to get the amount of sodium that they need.

There are other intelligent animal species that are known to self-medicate, and it's no surprise that many primates are among them. For example, chimpanzees were observed to eat leaves of an Aspilia spp plant, but what's really interesting is that they did not chew the leaves at all.

That may seem quite strange at first, but the animals were doing it with a very good reason. The way the leaves went through their digestive system promoted their health and fitness by taking out many of the parasitic worms that were living inside the apes. As you can imagine, in an environment where nutrition is so precious and hard to reach, it can be a matter or life and death to get rid of the parasites - not to speak of the other possible downsides of the animals living with some huge worms inside their intestines.

Other animals rely on certain species that are known to remove parasites, not due to a good heart, but because of an empty stomach. Some birds and fish are actively searching for bigger animals just to eat the parasites that are found on them. Most of the cases, this can be a win-win situation, but then again, sometimes the animals that try to reach the parasites may cause some wounds that can become infected, and eventually lead to the death of the other animal.

And finally, there are some animals that can regenerate themselves in a manner that's rather surprising to us, humans. Newts and salamanders, for example, can grow back parts of their limbs, and even some parts of a damaged brain occasionally, which is something that humanity can only dream of right now.

Anita D.

November 2019