Plants evolved to manipulate ants into defending them

A chicken and egg problem — rehashed in an unlikely scenario.

Farmer ants unknowingly domesticated their fungi crops by sequestering them in dry environments

Accidental domestication still counts, right?

Ants plot the position of the sun and memorize their surroundings to navigate

New insights into what makes ants such fantastic navigators.

Most ants don’t do much, and that makes the colony more efficient

Maybe it’s time for a vacation.

Ants craft tiny sponges to make it easier to carry food

“Ants are smarter than we give them credit for” is something we seem to write a lot – and yet it happened again.

Fiji ants were the first plant farmers some three million years ago

Most ants scavenge your picnic, but these ones don’t need anything.

Farmer ants still struggle with undomesticated crops, study finds

Starving your crops might seem counterintuitive, but these ants have a pretty good reason for it.

Meet Viserion and Drogon: the new ant species named after the Game of Thrones dragons

On the island of New Guinea, researchers have stumbled across two new fascinating species.

Six cockroach-sized micro robots tow a 3,900-Pound Car

Inspired by ants, researchers mimicked the insects’ individual super strength and collective hive mind in tiny robots. Each weighs only 0.2 pounds, but six were enough to tow a 3,900 pound-car, with one of the researchers seated as well.

Ant colonies behave as a single superorganism when attacked

Ant colonies are incredibly complex systems — the tightly knit, intensely cooperative colonies are closer to a single superorganism than to human societies. Researchers form the University of Bristol wanted to know how this single mind of the hive reacted to distress, and subjected colonies of migrating rock ants to differing forms of simulated predator attack to record their response.

How crazy ants carry dinner 100 times their size: coordination and individual leadership

Different ant species employ various tactics to forage food and keep the colony in tip top shape. Most often scouts will scour for food, and when a source is deemed fit a trail of pheromones guide worker ants to pick up the crumbs, leftover pizza or cheerios. Ants aren’t very picky, you know. What they are is very strong. It’s common knowledge that ants carry loads multiple times heavier than their own weight. Some species, like longhorn crazy ants are able to carry some of the biggest loads among ants by working together, joining in a band to perform the lifting. It’s a curios matter, one you might have often noticed in your very own backyard.

City ants LOVE junk food

If you ever dropped food on the pavement, don’t feel too bad. It’ll get scrapped bit by bit by the ever resourceful ants, so you’re actually doing a favor to these swarms of critters. But have you ever wondered why ants can eat ice cream, hot dogs or just about every kind of junk food we unwittingly throw at them? Some researchers looked at this question and found that some particular ant species have seemingly adapted to consume junk food.

First naturally occuring ionic liquids found in ant venom mix

Ionic liquids (IL) are basically liquid salts with very low melting points, that are extensively used in industry. It’s only recently that an ionic liquid has been found to occur in nature, after a team of researchers at University of South Alabama found that the substances forms when two ant species mix their venom.

Farmer ants draft parasite ants as mercenaries

Ants are absolutely fascinating creatures. Not only have they discovered farming and animal husbandry thousands of years before us (sometimes even using bacteria to grow gardens), they also conduct executions for the good of the colony, follow Fermat’s principle of least time, and as it has been shown now, draft parasite ants as mercenaries. Just like medieval cities sometimes recruited

Ant executions for the good of the colony

Researchers at The Rockefeller University and Paris University 13 have been studying a peculiar, yet highly fascinating ant species called Cerapachys biroi. The scientists were startled to find that many ants who had stepped out of line and laid eggs at an improper timing were executed by other ants belonging to the same colony, in order to improve efficiency. C. biroi, along

Hyper-parasite defends ant colonies from zombie-ant fungus

Last year, we reported on one of the most gruesome and horrific acts that goes on in nature; it seems so unreal, like if some sort of SciFi monstrous scenario transcended into the realm of reality, that one has a hard time wrapping his head around it. Yes, as some of you might have read previously, I’m talking about the zombie-ant fungus

Ants use bacteria to grow gardens

Ants are most amazing creatures, and there’s so much we could learn from them I wouldn’t even know where to start. As it is, we’ve just started to scratch the surface of what we know about ants, and strangely enouch, researchers are discovering more and more things human and ant societies have in common. Leaf cutter ants are one of

Ants – more rational than humans

Researchers from Arizona State University and Princeton University conducted a study that goes to show that our ‘multimodal, egg-headed, tool-using, bipedal, opposing-thumbed‘ selves come way behind ants when it comes to ration. That doesn’t actually mean that we are dumber than ants, but rather that we sometimes make irrational decisions, especially when faced with very difficult and important decisions. “This

How house ants pick their dream home

Seeing all the available houses in the neighborhood and then choosing is not necessarily the best option, at least if you’re an ant. These house-hunting rock ants manage to make a decision together even without going through the options they have. In this recent study conducted by Dr Elva Robinson and colleagues from the Bristol University, they put tiny radio-frequency