Cannibal Ants: Insects Are Adapting To Suboptimal Conditions

The Daily Mail reveals some pretty interesting info regarding cannibal ants.

It’s been reported that about a million cannibal ants that have been trapped in a post-Soviet nuclear weapon bunker for a few years have managed to escape after scientists intervened finally.

This colony was reportedly discovered for the very first time back in 2013, and it’s been made up of worker ants. This means that they were not able to reproduce.

Back then, it’s been revealed that about a million worker ants had become trapped there in that bunker after falling down a ventilation pipe that was located there.

These ants lived in some pretty cramped conditions, and they had no light, no heat, and of course, not a single source of food.

The discovery which shocked experts was that after a few years down there, the colony still seemed to be thriving, say the experts from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

A new study revealed the fact that, according to experts, these ants had been able to survive by eating the dead bodies of their nestmates who were imprisoned there.

Cannibal behavior can occur when protein food is scarce 

Prof. Wojciech Czechowski addressed this and said that, in nature, a similar behavior could occur a lot of times during spring, when protein food is scarce.

The so-called “ant wars” are providing food (fresh corpses), and they also do something else: they set the boundaries of the territories of neighboring ant colonies, according to info coming from the Daily Mail.

“The present case adds a dimension to the great adaptive ability of ants to marginal habitats and suboptimal conditions,” according to Prof. Czechowski.

He continued and said that this is vital to understanding the ants’ “unquestionable eco-evolutionary success.”

When scientists freed the ants back in 2016, there was no aggressive behavior spotted.

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