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Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

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Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

Post by Dragon on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:47 am

You've probably heard about poop pills, the latest way for humans to get benevolent bacteria into their guts. But it seems that a group of ants may have been the original poop pill pioneers—46 million years ago.

A new collaborative study, published in Nature Communications, determined that turtle ants (Cephalotes) are able to supplement their low-nitrogen diets by passing helpful bacteria from older ants to younger ones through anal secretions. Once this is done, the now-internalized microbes (tiny bacteria) naturally produce the nitrogen necessary for turtle ants to survive.

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Re: Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

Post by Dragon on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:49 am


Credit: Jon Sanders.

A cephalotes ant tending a membracid on a plant.

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Re: Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

Post by Dragon on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:50 am



Giant Turtle ants(Cephalotes atratus) encounter a column of Red army ants.

 
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Re: Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

Post by Dragon on Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:51 am



Large workers of turtle ants have dish-like heads that help them protect their colony by acting as living doorways.

 
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Re: Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

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