These wild animals also practice social distancing to avoid getting sick
Some species, such as chimpanzees and honeybees, enforce strict measures to prevent the spread of disease.
Many people in countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic are struggling to avoid contact with others and stay at home, including millions of Americans ordered by authorities to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But social distancing is not a novel concept in the natural world, where infectious diseases are commonplace. In fact, several social species will expel members within their own community if they are infected with a pathogen.
It’s challenging because infectious individuals are not always “easy to see,” explains Joseph Kiesecker, a lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy.
However, through specialized senses animals can detect certain diseases—sometimes before visible symptoms appear—and change their behavior to avoid getting ill.
Bacterial diseases that strike honeybee colonies, like