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Nov 26, 2020

These Ants Suit Up in a Protective ‘Biomineral Armor’ Never Seen Before in Insects

Posted by in category: food

Scientists find that A. echinatior ants have biomineral armour to help them in battle with other ants and protect them from pathogens. 😃


Ants are pretty organised little creatures. Highly social insects, they know how to forage, build complicated nests, steal your pantry snacks, and generally look after the queens and the colony, all by working together.

Leaf-cutter ants turn that cooperation up several notches. Leaf-cutter ant colonies like Acromyrmex echinatior can contain millions of ants, split into four castes that all have different roles to maintain a garden of fungus that the ants eat.

These farming ants might make a top-tier team of gardeners, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get into the occasional scrap, and living in such large groups usually also means facing an increased risk of pathogens.

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