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leafcutter ants @ antville.org

Wednesday, 23. March 2011
ant-fungus-mutualism = symbiosis

As stated before the ants need the fungi to feed their offspring and for this reason they have to carry it along when moving the nest from one place to another. The fungus needs the ants to provide the chopped, chewed and minced leaves it lives on. It also needs the ants in order to be disseminated.

In fact, the ants go even further in protecting the fungi:
They produce a nourishing fluid in glands on the outside of their skeleton. This feeds another species of fungi that produce an anti-biotic which is capable of destroying any kind of other bacteria or fungi in competition to its own symbiotic fungus.

Quite amazing, isn't it?
A masterpiece of Evolution, that started approximately 20 Million years ago ....

(more to come, please call back here at your convenience ....)

... Link


Wednesday, 16. March 2011
@ intro

Leaf-cutter ants are a most amazing species.

Their society is almost as complex and structured as we know it from our own. Each individual has a specific set of tasks that change through their life cycle. It is depending on the age of an ant what kind of chores it has to perform:
Still young and strong they collect leaves and provide safety to their nest. Later on they care about the mutualist fungus that (partly) feeds the stock by fermenting the cut leaves brought in by the workers. After that they pull out the debris, left-over leaves, and the wastes accumulating after the fungi have extracted the nutrients they needed for growth.

Once an individual dies it still services its colony. The dead are carried to the waste dump and are placed around it in a circle ....

(more to come, please call back here at your convenience ....)

... Link


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Mr.Yoda, 9/6/11 9:20 PM
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Mr.Yoda, 4/28/11 2:47 PM
ant-fungus-mutualism = symbiosis As stated
before the ants need the fungi to feed their offspring...
Mr.Yoda, 4/11/11 9:21 PM
harvesting The amount of food
a colony of leaf-cutting ants needs is humongous: 4g of...
Mr.Yoda, 4/11/11 9:20 PM
@ intro Leaf-cutter ants are
a most amazing species. Their society is almost as complex...
Mr.Yoda, 3/16/11 9:16 PM
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