Night of the living ants
Chemicals make the difference between life and death for these insects
By Stephen Ornes, 00:00 AM May 13, 2009
Ant nests have great undertaker capacity. Workers detect the dead and haul them outside to a pile of debris and corpses, often within an hour after death. Here a worker carries a young ant in the pupal stage to the refuse pile.
|Photo courtsey of the National Academy of Sciences and PNAS|
When an ant dies, other ants move the dead insect out of the nest. Sometimes, the dead ant gets moved away very soon — within an hour of dying. This behavior is interesting to scientists, who wonder how an...
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