A giant 62-mile-long colony of ants from Argentina hasinvaded Melbourne, Australia. In their native country, theyform smaller groups, but in Australia, they’ve merged intoone huge super colony, killing off native insects.
Biologist Elissa Suhr says, “In Argentina, their nativehomeland, ant colonies?are genetically diverse and highlyaggressive towards one another, so population numbers neverexplode and they are no threat to other plants and animals.When they arrived in Australia, in 1939, a change in theirstructure occurred, changing their behavior so that they arenot aggressive towards one another. This has resulted in thecolonies becoming one super colony.
“In California, they have displaced native ants, decreasedthe diversity of other native insects, affected thedispersal of seeds and even decreased lizard numbers.”
Biologists are examining ants in other parts of Australia,to determine if they are the same species. If they are,Australia may soon resemble a science fiction film where thecountry is ruled by a single giant ant colony.
If we want to know how other species think, we have to learnhow tolisten.
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