Cannibal Ants Found in Old Bunker; Survived Despite Harsh Conditions

cannibal ants
A colony of cannibal ants that is mostly composed of worker ants had tumbled down a ventilation shaft of an old Polish nuclear bunker.

Reportedly, these ants have been thriving due to the fact that they have been feeding on the corpses of the their own kind.

According to Sky News, the main nest of the cannibal ants was built in a vertical ventilation pipe because the bunker was used for storing nuclear weapons during the Soviet era.

Apparently, a large number of ants would fall into the pipe every year and couldn’t return to their main colony.

Since these ants were mostly worker ants, they have an inability to reproduce. Their colony has thrived despite the harsh conditions inside the bunker -no light, no heat and food sources.

According to The Sun, experts have discovered the cannibal ants in 2013 while researching for bats in the same bunker.

Moreover, scientists from the Museum and Institute of Zoology at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, have declared that the ants have resorted to cannibalism.

On the other hand, the group led by Professor Wojciech Czechowski found that the number of cannibal ants had increased to the size of a large colony in the open world.

“The present case adds a dimension to the great adaptive ability of ants to marginal habitats and suboptimal conditions, as the key to understanding their unquestionable eco-evolutionary success,” stated by the authors of a paper that declared that wood ants indeed eat up the dead bodies of their kind.

 

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