At Discovery News, we've touched on the topic before for other species. Spider monkeys, for example, are thought to have discovered a medicated body scratcher. But there are relatively few such studies on self-medication by animals.
(A sick monarch butterfly dying from the parasite)
In this case, there's added interest because the behavior is enacted by a creature that, despite its beauty, is fairly low on the food chain. Plus, the behavior is trans-generational, says Thierry Lefevre, a post-doctoral fellow in de Roode's lab. "While the mother is expressing the behavior, only her offspring benefit."
Health-related decisions made by non-human species could also potentially benefit us in future. For example, researchers like chemical ecologist Mark Hunter have been studying milkweed plants to determine their medicinal properties.