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It sounds like something out of a 1950s B-movie, but then again, it’s very, very real.
Close to 1 million “experiment” of ants have been found trapped in an abandoned Soviet-era bunker in Poland, used for the storage of nuclear weapons, according to a new study. The crazy bugs that have been “for years” and have to resort to eating the bodies of their dead brothers in order to survive.
The insects were first discovered in 2013, and they are almost entirely comprised of “worker” ants, not “queens of offspring in the next room,” according to the study.
File photo: A colony of red ants. (Check-out)
THE FASTEST ANTS WILL WALK THE EQUIVALENT OF 360 KM / H
“Here, let’s see, that’s the colony in the tank that has survived and evolved due to an influx of workers from the source to the nest on top of the bunker, and the mass consumption of the bodies of the trapped nestmates,” the study abstract states.
In the abstract, that the “prisoner of ants” has been used as a “pilot installed in area” by means of the ventilation pipe, in order to make their nest on the top of the bunker.
In view of the bunker’s location and the lack of available food resources, researchers conclude that the other ants had resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
“It is well known that in wood ants to consume the dead bodies of their fellows on the left in the crowd the ground, while the spectacular “ant wars,” it is early in the season,” the authors wrote in the study. “The purpose of these wars was to establish the boundaries of the neighboring peers of the colonies, but it seems to add substantially to the scarce resources available at the time of colony life through the winter.”
‘CRYPT-KEEPER’, BUT COMMON TO THE MINDS OF THE VICTIMS
It is also believed that the ants were part of a larger colony living in the soil surrounding the bunker. In the spring of 2016, the researchers took a group of about 100 ants came out of the bunker, and introduced them to the colony to see how they would react to it. “As expected, there is no aggressive behavior was observed,” the authors added.
In spite of the presence of the makeshift boardwalk to the fact that the ants seem to be to be accepted back into the colony, the researchers found that there was still a group of ants, which choose to stay in the next room.
The study, which was published in the Official journal of hymenoptera Research.
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