Researchers found that socially distancing is a standard practice for some animals when they are sick, while it is completely new to us.
An article was posted in Behavioral Ecology that certain types of species knew the benefits of social distancing and how to do it. “In certain social insects, sick ones might self-isolate voluntarily or be excluded by their colony mates,” researchers informed. “This sickness-induced social distancing does not require cooperation from others and is probably common across species.”
Vampire bats were also known to socially distance themselves. To confirm this fact, a team of researchers set an experiment with 31 wild adult female vampire bats. Half of them got an immune-challenging substance, while the other half got a placebo and remained healthy. The researchers also attached sensors on the back of the “sick” ones to track their behaviors.
The healthy bats did spend less time near the “sick” bats. The researchers found that the healthy bats spent 25 fewer minutes socializing with the sick bats. CNN also states that “[t]he healthy bats showed a 49% likelihood of associating with others, while the sick bats had a 35% chance of spending time near another bat.”
It has always been known that humans look down and tame animals, but maybe this time, the animals should teach us.