Ant Control - Poison-Taster Ants Help Save Colonies
Jan 12, 2010, 20:47 PM
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Source: Discovery News
Hoping to combat invading ants with poison? It turns out ants have sophisticated group strategies to avoiding destruction.
On cold, damp days, starving ants often march into homes seeking food, and some homeowners put out poison to try and stop them. But ants have evolved three successful ways to combat both poisonings and famine, including sacrificing some ants as poison tasters.
The findings, accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior, may apply to humans -- and not just those with ant invasions -- because they show how food can be distributed quickly after a famine, while also guarding against sickness, or
even death, from poison.
Ants "have evolved to great ecological success over millions of years and hence are likely to have found a solution," lead author Ana Sendova-Franks told Discovery News, adding that it's also "relatively easy to study experimentally the link between two
levels of organization: the individual and the system."