Video of the Day: Leafcutter Ants

 

This column of leafcutter ants stretched through the jungle as far as the eye could see. What are they doing? Cutting leaves, of course. The better question is for what purpose? If you guessed feathering their nest, you’re thinking too simplistic. Incredibly these ants harvest leaves and shred them into a kind of mulch that they use to grow an edible fungus. They’re farmers and sophisticated ones too.

In addition to growing fungus, the ants also produce bacteria to fight a virulent disease that would otherwise devastate their crops. So it can be said that leafcutter ants developed organic agriculture 50 million years before people realized it was cool.

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3 Comments on “Video of the Day: Leafcutter Ants”

  1. nadinefeldman March 19, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I first saw leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica, marching across our walking path, leaf parts in tow. Fascinating!

    Like

  2. earthriderjudyberman March 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Nature at work … and the grasshopper just fiddles around. 😉

    Like

  3. creativeboys March 27, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    This is cool to see ants at work but when it gets too many, I can feel them going up my hands and it will be a hair raising experience! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Like

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