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The Largest Ant Colony October 13, 2006

Posted by ionicflux in News, Science.

antz.jpg Swiss, French and Danish scientists believe they have found the largest cooperative unit of ants ever recorded. The colony is 3,600 miles long, stretching from the Italian Riviera to northwest Spain. It consists of billions of Argentine ants living in millions of nests that cooperate with each other. Some ant colonies can achieve a cooperative effort which allows them to work as one single unit, and in essence, one being.

Ants from different nests normally fight. However, researchers assume the ants in the super colony are so genetically linked that they recognize each other, despite the fact that they are from different nests with different queens.

Cooperation allows the colonies to develop at much higher densities than that which would normally occur, eliminating some 90 percent of other types of ants that live near them, said Laurent Keller of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. more



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