Climate conundrum: Study finds ants aren’t altering behavior in rising temperatures


Peer-Reviewed Publication

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

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MAGE: RESEARCHERS AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY FOUND THAT ANTS DID NOT ADJUST THEIR BEHAVIOR IN RESPONSE TO WARMING TEMPERATURES AND PERSISTED IN SUB-OPTIMAL MICROHABITATS EVEN WHEN OPTIMAL ONES WERE PRESENT. THE FINDING SUGGESTS ANTS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ADJUST THEIR BEHAVIOR IN RESPONSE TO WARMING ECOSYSTEMS. THIS PHOTO SHOWS BLACK FIELD ANTS (FORMICA SUBSERICEA) AT A BAIT STATION IN THE STUDY. ANTS WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE LIKELY TO USE A BAIT STATION IF IT WAS PLACED IN A PREFERRED MICROCLIMATE THAN IF IT WAS PLACED IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE MICROCLIMATE THAT WAS TOO HOT OR TOO COLD. view more 
CREDIT: SARA PRADO

Researchers at North Carolina State University found in a recent study that ants did not adjust their behavior in response to warming temperatures and persisted in sub-optimal microhabitats even when optimal ones were present. The finding suggests ants may not be able to adjust their behavior in response to warming ecosystems.  

Ants are ectotherms – animals whose body temperature depends on the environment. While these animals experience a range of temperatures in daily life, most ectotherms prefer habitats that are slightly cooler than the so-called optimal functioning temperature in which an ectothermic animal is able to best perform all of life’s functions. If it encounters an environment warmer than the optimal point, an ectotherm risks approaching the lethal end of its physiology’s spectrum. In other words, if it gets too hot, ectotherms will die. 

Little is known, however, about how – or if – insect ectotherms will adjust their behavior to avoid warmer but sublethal temperature ranges – where functioning is physiologically possible but not optimal – which are increasingly likely due to global climate change. 

To learn more about how insect species may respond to those warmer, sublethal temperatures, researchers at NC State studied five species of ants common in North Carolina. The researchers counted and collected ants in forest ecosystems and measured air temperatures at the collection sites to identify the distribution of available microhabitats. The researchers also used a unique ant thermometer to measure the temperature of the ants themselves (which varied by ant color and body size). Lastly, to determine each species’ preferred temperature, the researchers collected some ants for the lab and placed them in a rectangular chamber with a controlled temperature gradient. 

The researchers found that ants in the lab did have distinct thermal preferences, but ants in the field were active in their preferred climates only slightly more often than expected by chance. Instead, most species were collected in sites that were warmer than preferred, suggesting lack of awareness or some limitation in their ability to adjust to increasing temperatures.

“It’s interesting that the worker ants we observed were willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations while foraging,” says Sara Prado, an adjunct professor and co-author of the study. “I wonder if the food was ‘profitable’ enough for the ants to stretch their comfort levels, or if they are simply willing to sacrifice their well-being for the sake of the colony.”

“Warmer times and places make warmer ants, and they’re not adjusting their activity to match their preferred conditions,” says Elsa Youngsteadt, a professor of applied ecology at NC State and co-author of the study. “For now, this may be a tradeoff that works out fine for them. But if you think of the huge biomass of ants underfoot, their metabolic rates are all creeping upward as the climate changes. Even if it doesn’t kill them outright, what does that amped-up metabolism mean for their life cycle and even the whole forest ecosystem?”   

Youngsteadt plans to further investigate this question with urban ants that are effectively living in the future of climate change in comparatively warm cities.

The paper, “Can behavior and physiology mitigate effects of warming on ectotherms? A test in urban ants,” will be published January 16 in the Journal of Animal Ecology. The paper was co-authored by Michelle Kirchner from NC State University and Kirsten Keleher from Cornell University. The work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch Project #1018689 to Youngsteadt, and by North Carolina State University.


JOURNAL

Journal of Animal Ecology

DOI

10.1111/1365-2656.13860 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Experimental study

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

Animals

ARTICLE TITLE

Can behavior and physiology mitigate effects of warming on ectotherms? A test in urban ants

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

16-Jan-2023

COI STATEMENT

none

From EurekAlert!

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Philip Mulholland
January 17, 2023 2:06 am

Ants altering their behavior?
We are talking about the most robotic insect on the planet.
They don’t think, they just act.

Last edited 21 days ago by Philip Mulholland
Scissor
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 17, 2023 5:37 am

Fires ants can get pretty rowdy on a Saturday night in July. Their bite is painful. Of course, their bite is always painful.

It must be climate change.

ATheoK
Reply to  Scissor
January 18, 2023 5:42 pm

Fires ants can get pretty rowdy on a Saturday night in July.”

When I lived in New Orleans, fire ants were rowdy every day of the year.

johchi7
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 17, 2023 10:13 pm

Varieties of ants are found from the Artic to the tip of South America on every continent except for Antartica in every climate the earth has ever had. Because ants eat both flora and fauna for their food and Antartica is mostly a frozen desert without much of a food source for ants to survive is the most likely reason there are none there. It therefore doesn’t take a study to determine the hardiness of ants in various climates. Like bees, ants are wherever their queen settles to start a colony that is usually within miles of wherever she was hatched in another colony. As all other ants in the colony are drones that dig the earth and gather the foods available in the area as they are omnivores scavengers, a colony can only survive wherever food sources are available. I remember in the desert of Arizona at between 5 and 7 years old placing a whole biscuit on a large black ant hole before going to school and when I got home it was gone. I told my dad about it, and he took a shovel and close to the hole stomped the shovel down about 4 inches and popped it out. The biscuit was whole underground as the ants had just dug around it and put the gravel over it. We expected it to be torn apart and being carried in pieces into the colony storage compartments like they do with pieces of leaves and bugs.

andersjoan
January 17, 2023 2:15 am

Andy Espersen :
But this is terrible. This will without a doubt mean the end of ants. After 150 million years the species will come to an end : They are obviously unable to adjust to climate change.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  andersjoan
January 17, 2023 5:03 am

How did the ants survive the Roman Warm Period?

I get the feeling these researchers don’t have a sense of history. Their world began in 1979, it appears.

DavsS
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 17, 2023 9:48 am

I get the feeling these researchers don’t have much common sense. 

AndyHce
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 17, 2023 5:17 pm

How could you Prove anything existed before they were born and became self aware?

Scissor
Reply to  andersjoan
January 17, 2023 5:40 am

Ants should be wiped out anyway because they represent the vestiges of colonialization.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2023 7:22 am

A Dad joke and a swipe at wokeism in the same sentence. Well done!

Redge
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2023 10:01 am

#BlackAntsMatter

Ron Long
January 17, 2023 2:16 am

Where I live there are underground ant colonies. The ants spread out along several radial paths, which ae plainly visible from continuous use. When I walk in more than freezing, but less than middle of the day in summer temperatures, I see lines of ants with cut pieces of grass and leaves going toward the nest, and others with nothing going way from the nests. In too cold or too warm, I do not see any ants, that’s right, the ants stay underground when it is too cold or too hot. There you have it: ants are more intelligent than “Researchers at North Carolina State University”.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Ron Long
January 17, 2023 3:25 am

” . … ants are more intellegent … ”
Not difficult, judging by this paper.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
January 17, 2023 5:05 am

Yes, I had a little ant problem not long ago. They would go after the food in the dog bowl. I haven’t seen any of them since it turned cold.

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 17, 2023 5:43 am

That’s better than a big ant problem.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2023 7:25 am

Them! (1954)

Tony_G
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
January 17, 2023 9:27 am

Or Phase IV (1974)

ATheoK
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 18, 2023 5:49 pm

Yes, I had a little ant problem not long ago.”

Where I live in Virginia, even in winter with ice outside, ant nests near the foundation enter the house without surfacing outside.

magesox
January 17, 2023 2:24 am

Wow, just wow! Amazing research. And did they consider the fact that daily temperature ranges vastly exceed the sort of temperature changes that have supposedly happened due to catastrophic climate change over the past 170 years, and yet the ants still live?

strativarius
January 17, 2023 2:28 am

 “…persisted in sub-optimal microhabitats even when optimal ones were present…”

The ants didn’t get the memo. They opted not to go for the human judged optimal. Stupid ants, what do they know? Well, more than the ecologists do.

“Youngsteadt plans to further investigate this question with urban ants that are effectively living in the future of climate change in comparatively warm cities.”

Anyone with a modicum of sense will tell them to jog on for funding this nonsense.

Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 2:55 am

Maybe their idea of ‘optimal’ didn’t coincide with what the ants thought?
What if they put some sugar in the new ‘optimal’ place – just a few grains would suffice.

They measured the air temperature. Ants ain’t normally especially adventurous aviators, maybe they respond more to soil temperature.

(Ain’t that a crazy thing, critters that live in The Greenhouse – and crawl around on the inside of the ‘glass’. Can anyone think of any more critters like that?)

Just me personally have witnessed (here in the UK) ants crawling in and out of cracks in garden patios, spaces between flagstones and in/out of cracks in asphalt at times when those things were waaaay too hot to walk on with bare-feet.

Sometimes curiosity would get me and I’d lift the flagstone to find a humongous colony and nest, complete with eggs, babies and all sorts of anty shizzle.
I was strongly of the impression that they’d not yet reached or were “approaching the lethal end of its(their) physiology’s spectrum” – even at 50+Celsius.

Quote:”Little is known, however, about how – or if – insect ectotherms will adjust their behaviour to avoid warmer but sublethal temperature ranges

How to find out:”Get a life hun, start by stepping outside into a garden or park.

leefor
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 3:31 am

Little is known, however, about how – or if – insect ectotherms…” Send more money,

R Taylor
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 7:21 am

I’m just delighted that these insightful US researchers are following in the giant footsteps of Mark Twain and his brilliant use of ants in “On Experimental Design.”

AndyHce
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 5:26 pm

But make sure your phone battery is fully charged first.

rovingbroker
January 17, 2023 3:14 am

The only short story I remember from High School —

Leiningen Versus the Antshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiningen_Versus_the_Ants

Leiningen, the owner of a plantation in the Brazilian rainforest, is warned by the district commissioner that a swarm of ferocious and organised soldier ants is approaching and that he must flee. Unlike his neighbours, Leiningen is not about to give up years of hard work and planning to “an act of God“, as he believes in the superiority of the human brain and has already made preparations. He convinces his workers to stay and fight with him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiningen_Versus_the_Ants

I also believe in the superiority of the human brain. But not necessarily all human brains.

barryjo
Reply to  rovingbroker
January 17, 2023 2:54 pm

I have heard it said that when someone dies, it is comparable to a library burning down. All that lost knowledge, experience, etc. But I have noticed that not all libraries are the same size. Just sayin’.

Hivemind
January 17, 2023 3:14 am

This research is groundbreaking. It’s as good as the researchers that poured acid on oysters and publish a paper that says pouring acid on oysters is bad for them.

Scissor
Reply to  Hivemind
January 17, 2023 5:47 am

I wouldn’t mind doing the lemon juice, Tobasco and horseradish study, perhaps with crackers as control.

abolition man
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2023 8:43 am

Scissor,
Ya gotta go BIG! MY experiment is to see if a coating containing butter, garlic, herbs and bread crumbs can protect the oysters from broiling temps! I think the results could be delicious!

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Hivemind
January 17, 2023 8:28 am

“Researchers” will study almost anything if there’s grant money.

barryjo
Reply to  Paul Johnson
January 17, 2023 2:56 pm

I recall $300,000 granted to find out why highbeam headlites were bad in fog, compared to low beams.

MCourtney
January 17, 2023 3:46 am

The researchers found that ants in the lab did have distinct thermal preferences, but ants in the field were active in their preferred climates only slightly more often than expected by chance.

 
So, when other factors are controlled for a temperature effect is observed.
In the field, where other factors are not controlled for, a temperature effect is barely noticeable.
 
In other words, temperature matters to ants but not a lot. Other factors are far more
important.
 
Why does EurekAlert not report that temperature is found to be relatively unimportant to
ants? 
It seems to miss the obvious conclusion.

Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 4:05 am

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962001/

“Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on red wood ants ( Formica rufa group)”

Last edited 21 days ago by Krishna Gans
strativarius
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 4:14 am

Cold weather causes these insects to go into a dormant state until warmer weather arrives. But only old-school ecologists and pest control companies know that.

Vincent
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 4:32 pm

Interesting article, Krishna. Here’s quote from the introduction.

“Temperature is an important factor for all ectothermic organisms, including ants. Their rate of development is accelerated with high temperatures, the movement rate speeds up and the rate of food and oxygen consumption also increases. Higher temperatures can be advantageous for colony fitness as it can increase reproduction rate though at the same time can be disadvantageous due to higher energy expenditure.”

Fran
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 11:26 am

This also applies to humans. Years ago a physiologist from my parent’s generation looked at basal metabolic rates when people came from England to south India. She found that those reared in England lowered their BMR when going to a hot climate. Those reared in the hot climate did not.

A perfect basis for the saying “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

James Snook
January 17, 2023 4:13 am

What I want to see is some research on whether global warming will affect the number of Angels that can balance on a pinhead 🤡

Editor
January 17, 2023 4:19 am

The top photo of the ant on the barbed wire reminded me of the fire ants I encountered once playing golf. I hate fire ants.

Regards,
Bob

strativarius
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 17, 2023 4:38 am

You’ll love these…

Last edited 21 days ago by strativarius
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  strativarius
January 17, 2023 7:33 am

Classic, top-notch Sci-Fi!

With Hollywood’s propensity to “remake” movies, sometimes over and over within relatively short time frames, I have often wondered why this 1954 classic has not been redone. Picture what could be done today with CGI!

strativarius
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 17, 2023 7:59 am

Woke ants…

abolition man
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 17, 2023 8:45 am

In modern Hollyweird the ants would have to be the heroes!

barryjo
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 17, 2023 2:58 pm

That would take ones mind off ones game.
Not all bad, in my case.

Last edited 20 days ago by barryjo
Petit-Barde
January 17, 2023 4:40 am

Ants can adapt to any situation :

Paul Stevens
January 17, 2023 4:47 am

“I wonder if the food was ‘profitable’ enough for the ants to stretch their comfort levels, or if they are simply willing to sacrifice their well-being for the sake of the colony.” Ha Ha Ha Ha, Certainly the most anthropogenic comment I have ever heard about insects. I can only imagine the internal conversation the ants are having with themselves. “It might lead to an early death, but the colony will prosper. Gosh darn it, I’m going to just get it done.”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Paul Stevens
January 17, 2023 5:18 am

There is an “altruism” gene in humans. I don’t know if ants have the same thing or not.

I saw a study once where rats were shown to have an altruism gene where one rat would help another rat even though helping would not directly benefit the helper.

So the altruism gene has been in mammals for at least 80 million years, according to the study.

I found that interesting. I think you see it everywhere in the animal kingdom.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 17, 2023 6:33 am

Ants may have it too, they build ant bridges over water where s lot may be killed.

MCourtney
Reply to  Paul Stevens
January 17, 2023 6:53 am

from a genetic viewpoint, what does it matter that the ant has an early death? It’s not likely that ant will ever reproduce.
The Queen reproduces.
Anything that promotes the survival of the colony as a whole will be selected for.

RickWill
January 17, 2023 4:49 am

I see that Charlotte NC has an average minimum of 0C in January and an average maximum of 32C in July.

Presumably the ants survive through this, or a similar, range.

From my casual observations in Australia, ants seem to get bigger as you move northward from temperate zones to tropical zones. Maybe NC will have bigger ants in the future. Maybe tropical fire ants will make NC home as the current crop of little critters find the going too hot. Apparently fire ants are already in Georgia a woman died from shock after being bitten. So not that far to migrate once NC warms up. Of course I have no idea if they are already in NC..

If it get really hot, maybe NC will become home to the giant amazon ants. These critters can grow to an impressive 4cm in length.

strativarius
Reply to  RickWill
January 17, 2023 5:11 am

Indeed as you move down the species richness gradient from pole to equator insects get pretty large.

hiskorr
Reply to  RickWill
January 17, 2023 7:06 am

Of course! As the temperature in NC has already risen 1C since the magic pre-industrial optimum, an increase to a range of 0.5C to 32.5C would be fatal to all life!

ferdberple
January 17, 2023 4:53 am

A waste of time and money. Ants search for food and habitat. Not temperature.

Scouts extend from the nest randomly. Those that succeed in finding food leave a scent trail for the workers to follow. Those that fail leave no trail.

This approach has been used to create AI programs that have consistently outperformed climate researchers.

garboard
January 17, 2023 5:40 am

i thought ants were getting more frequent and more powerful and destructive because of the climate emergency?

Jim Gorman
January 17, 2023 5:53 am

It seems to me that considering ants have survived for eons that a better study would have been to find what temperature causes them to fail to survive.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jim Gorman
January 17, 2023 9:52 am

And I’m just about positive that said temperature would be a “too cold” temperature, not a “too hot” temperature.

This nonsense is just mind-numbingly stupid. I suppose they surveyed the ants to determine their “preferred conditions.” SMH!

Mark Whitney
January 17, 2023 5:55 am

What is optimal for ants? They occur in practically every habitat on the planet. I have one in my collection from Alaska, and they definitely like Brazil. There is more biomass in ants than in all other land life forms combined. The “researchers” seem to have chosen a rather curious creature to hang their doom predictions on.

Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 6:02 am

Imagine you are an ectothermic organism living in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you must spend the hottest hours of the day scavenging for food to survive. If that is not challenging enough, imagine that your entire body is only a few millimetres above ground where the temperature is up to 70oC! This is the typical life of the silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, and more surprisingly, this species is not the only one. The Cataglyphis genus lives in the Palearctic deserts, while other desert ant genera such as Ocymyrmex and Melophorus occur respectively in the Afrotropic and Australasian ecozones. These deserts are among the most inhospitable environments on the planet due to their extreme temperatures and arid conditions. In addition, unlike many desert animals which are nocturnal or crepuscular, these ants are frequently more active during the warmest hours of the day, a great strategy as you can avoid predators and competitors while being able to feed on dead insects who succumbed under the scorching heat, but also a very risky one.

Desert ant heat survival guide

The Other Nick
January 17, 2023 6:46 am

Youngsteadt plans to further investigate this question with urban ants that are effectively living in the future of climate change in comparatively warm cities.

This report was just the start its “Climate Change“. So more has to be spent to prove nothing.
 
Actually the initial report is a bit “thin” and I am surprised it was published. 
From the report.

They caught specimens and killed them. “Ethical approval was not required”. PETA will be upset.
 
 

Editor
January 17, 2023 6:47 am

Something wrong with the logic of this paper. Humans live and work in the darndest places: Arctic, jungle, Pakistan desert, Arabia, Los Angeles (for heaven’s sake!)….

If every animal (insect or otherwise) somehow was required by its nature to only operate at its “preferred temperature” — its “comfort zone” — they’d all starve to death.

The Other Nick
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 17, 2023 7:23 am

Actually the full depth of the study is thin and methodology possibly missing some fundamental issues.
 
Hence I suspect it was written for the religion of Climate Change

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 17, 2023 8:12 am

Certainly is something wrong with this paper.

Ants can be found in almost every habitat around the world except the very coldest. It is estimated there are 20 quadrillion around the world from deserts to tropical rain forests. Interestingly, Queensland has the most varied ant population with 1458 native species.

The researchers should have looked online before coming up with this rubbish.

AndyHce
Reply to  Dave Andrews
January 17, 2023 5:42 pm

Did the article forget to mention that this was a fifth grade science project?

John Kelly
January 17, 2023 7:13 am

In the heat of summer I enjoy watching ants walk across my burning hot concrete driveway. They don’t have an apparent care in the world. I doubt if a theoretical 1.5C degrees of additional temperature would make any difference to them. How much did this study cost?

DMacKenzie
January 17, 2023 8:34 am

The finding suggests ants may not be able to adjust their behavior in response to warming ecosystems.

Odd to say that….it more likely means that warming doesn’t noticeably affect them.

abolition man
January 17, 2023 8:51 am

C’mon, guys and gals!
The REAL message to take from this study is that ants are more resilient than climate change researchers, and possibly more intelligent! They definitely beat out the Climastrology true believers; ants know which side of the bread their butter is on!

Andy Pattullo
January 17, 2023 10:22 am

“The finding suggests ants may not be able to adjust their behavior in response to warming ecosystems.”

That’s when I stopped reading. Most of Earth’s history has been warmer and sometimes much warmer than present. Ants have been around for between 140 and 170 million years. Apparently they are in fact able to adjust their behavior in response to warming, just like any other species that mutates and evolves. The authors of the study however may be at an evolutionary dead end if anything challenging pops up in the next week or so.

Fran
January 17, 2023 11:16 am

“It’s interesting that the worker ants we observed were willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations while foraging,” says Sara Prado, an adjunct professor and co-author of the study. “I wonder if the food was ‘profitable’ enough for the ants to stretch their comfort levels, or if they are simply willing to sacrifice their well-being for the sake of the colony.”

This sounds like anthropomophizing in spades. I guess she finds putting herself in “uncomfortable” situations to gain rewards counter-intuitive.

Rick C
January 17, 2023 11:45 am

The researchers also used a unique ant thermometer to measure the temperature of the ants themselves (which varied by ant color and body size).

I wonder if it was difficult to get the ants to keep the thermometers under their tongues. Or, maybe they used the other kind. 🙂

R.Morton
January 17, 2023 1:32 pm

It’s hard to read articles like this when I live in Arizona – where I’m sure 115-degree days are NOT the “preferred comfort levels” of the millions of ants per square foot we have here. The only time the ants here go underground/quiet/dormant is when it’s COLD out – period.

Bob
January 17, 2023 2:23 pm

This is just stupid, how can researchers possibly know what ants prefer?

macromite
January 17, 2023 2:36 pm

Quick summary: Ants didn’t do what we thought they should do. Catastrophe looms. Give us more money.

astonerii
January 17, 2023 4:47 pm

The world’s temperature has always been constant and never changes. Even when glaciers covered North Carolina, the temperatures were still warm like they are today, which is why ants never had to learn to adapt and thus are likely to totally die off in the next couple of years.

Mark Luhman
January 17, 2023 4:53 pm

Maybe they should study the Southwest Fire Ant, those ants like 100 plus temperatures. Here in Mesa AZ spring winter and fall not around, summer they are everywhere. The desert floor is just one mass of ants on the move.

ATheoK
January 18, 2023 5:38 pm

most ectotherms prefer habitats that are slightly cooler than the so-called optimal functioning temperature in which an ectothermic animal is able to best perform all of life’s functions.”

That sure sounds like an opinion, not science.
Ants generally don’t move their nests.
Nor have I ever noticed ants dying because it got hot. I doubt they even hide from the sun.

Their underground nests are quite temperature stable. That darn devil CO₂ apparently doesn’t warm underground.

THIS PHOTO SHOWS BLACK FIELD ANTS (FORMICA SUBSERICEA) AT A BAIT STATION IN THE STUDY. ANTS WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE LIKELY TO USE A BAIT STATION IF IT WAS PLACED IN A PREFERRED MICROCLIMATE THAN IF IT WAS PLACED IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE MICROCLIMATE THAT WAS TOO HOT OR TOO COLD.”

Say what?
Just how did they identify an ant’s “preferred microclimate”?

Did they notice the ants waving their antenna back and forth? Warmer food has stronger smells and will attract ants quite well.

How did they determine “ANTS WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE LIKELY”? Did they count ants over several days, or is this one of those ‘We only watched for a few hours of daylight’ responses?

Ants operate quite well in the dark. Only they don’t scatter just because someone turned on the light.

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Experimental study”

Experimental study?

terry
January 19, 2023 6:27 pm

Umm Ants are thinking and feeling beings and actually making decisions like people. Wow. Who knew?

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