Ants Produce Milk! Unprecedented detection from scientists examining the anthill! They were producing milk.
Scientists from Rockefeller University in the USA, examining the anthill, determined for the first time that ants produce milk.
Scientists from Rockfeller University observed that ants secrete a milk-like liquid that nourishes other individuals in the colony. The findings, published November 30 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, indicated that “milk” is secreted during the pupal stage. Biologist Orli Snir and his team made this discovery while investigating how social isolation affects ants of the Ooceraea biroi species.
THEY FOLLOW THE LIQUID
When observing isolated ant pupae, experts noticed droplets of liquid appearing on the tips of the abdomen. When this fluid accumulates, the pupae are found to drown and survive when removed. The accumulation of fluid also led to the formation of fungi that killed the pupa. The research team then injected blue food coloring into the pupa to monitor the fluid.
CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE
It was discovered that adult ants consume the liquid they secrete and carry their larvae to pupae, enabling them to drink “milk”. Experts said the larvae depend on this fluid to survive and thrive. As a result of the research, pupa “milk” was detected in the species belonging to the first 5 ant subfamilies. Therefore, experts think that the liquid may play a role in the evolution of the social structure of ants.
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