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Ants from a nuclear bunker were cannibals

No living creature wants to die. The antelope fleeing the lion, meerkats warn each other against predators, and frogs, which have disappeared, half in the mouth of snakes, sometimes struggle so hard to Survive that you finally, but still manages to escape. Also, ants are not so easily beaten, reports Polish zoologists in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The Team of Tomasz Rutkowski of the University in poznań observed for the past three years, the struggle for Survival of wood ants of the species Formica polyctena.

The dead neatly stacked

The animals come from a colony near the city of Miedzyrzecz in Western Poland, and fell through a ventilation shaft in a disused nuclear weapons bunkers. In your prison, it is cold, dark, and food there are not actually also. The downed animals joined together, according to the researchers, on the sandy bunker floor to a kind of emergency colony. A "normal life" was not possible because only labour had fallen into the shaft. Nevertheless, the captured animals properly thought went so well it wore the dead conspecifics from the Nest and piled around the colony neat. Multiply the ants in your prison, not, however, the supplies came regularly from the top, because there are always new insects fell through the shaft.

The biggest mystery of all, though, what the animals eat, actually. Zoologists first thought, you would could from the feces of bats feed, and lived with them in the Bunker, these, however, unlike the insect to leave. Alternatively, they accounted for dust mites and a few other invertebrates as a potential food source. All of these assumptions are analysed incorrectly, the carcasses of the of the colony, a stacked insect were revealed, as the scientists in more detail. Many of them had a suspicious hole in their chitin shell, in addition, the researchers discovered Frassspuren.

Grisly Experiment draws to a close

The colony had apparently survived by the animals to each other were cannibalized. In their plight, the have resorted to in the Bunker trapped insects seem to a behavior that was observed in these animals in other extreme situations. After the formic wars, for example, in which the animals fight for their territory, other dogs recycled as feed.

according to the researchers, tends to the grisly Experiment to the end. In order to help the animals caught in the zoologist a kind of bridge, over the you from your prison can crawl. The first workers had found the way to freedom already, the scientists report. The animals were rehabilitated in their original colony seem to have no problem and live a normal Ants.

Created: 09.11.2019, 09:49 PM

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