28. feb. 2003

Ant nepotism

"Colonies of ants are usually made up of a number of queens and their worker ant offspring, who maintain the apparently harmonious running of the nest. According to evolutionary theory, these worker ants should favour individuals to whom they are more closely related. But this had never been demonstrated - until now. Work by researchers in Finland shows that worker ants do preferentially favour their own kin when caring for eggs and larvae. This also means the ants must have some way of recognise how related they are to an individual."

New Scientist: Worker ants reveal their mercenary side
(via Abbas Raza)