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  • Autothysis is the process where an animal destroys itself via an internal rupturing or explosion of an organ which ruptures the skin. The term was proposed by Maschwitz and Maschwitz in 1974 to describe the defensive mechanism of the carpenter ant (Camponotus saundersi). It is caused by a contraction of muscles around a large gland that leads to the gland wall breaking. Some termites (such as the soldiers of Globitermes sulphureus) release a sticky secretion by rupturing a gland near the skin of their neck, producing a tar baby effect in defense against ants. It is a form of suicidal altruism. (Wikipedia)

    April 27, 2012