Animals rely on nature's medicine cabinet


In the past two decades, biologists and chemists have begun to recognize that animals select and use substances specifically to cure themselves of parasites and ailments.

Early accounts of animal self-medication came in the late 1980s from Michael Huffman, a primatologist at Kyoto University. His decades-long research on chimpanzees, which revealed that they use plant compounds to rid themselves of parasites, helped establish self-medication as a fundamental animal behavior.

The world’s best bio-prospectors may very well show us new pharmaceuticals to improve the health of our livestock and ourselves, Discover magazine’s Crux blog reports.

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