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News From the Field

New Study Illuminates the Role of Ants as Fungus Farmers


March 26, 2008

Photo of ant's head A new study has provided new insights into the agricultural abilities of ants and how these abilities evolved. In the past 25 million years, four different specialized agricultural systems have evolved, leading to the most recently evolved and best-known fungus-growing ant species--"leaf-cutter ants." The ants do not eat the leaves; they grow their fungus gardens on them and then eat the fungus.  Full Story

Source
The Smithsonian

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