Ants that become enslaved by other ants naturally and regularly rebel against their captors.
Ants are notorious for making sprawling networks of city states beneath the ground. They have been observed farming mushrooms, domesticating aphids, and even creating nurseries and learning centers for their young.
Scientists have made a new discovery, further anthropomorphizing ants. Ants all over the United States take other species and colors of ants as slaves, and the slaves very often try to break free, or sabotage the captors’ colony. As usual, truth is more surprising than fiction.
Protomognathus americanus, the American slave maker ant, has evolved to stop foraging for food and instead steal the larvae of other ants and raise them as slaves to forage for food and raise their young. Talk about lazy.
Just like in our society, the enslaved ants don’t just blindly accept their servitude. The slave ants sabotage the colony by killing thousands of the colony’s children. When an ant is newborn, the enslave ant nanny is unable to tell the difference. But once it begins to show signs that it is the same species as its captor, the enslaved ant is quick to brew the poison.
Interestingly, only 27% of slave maker ant pupae survived within colonies in West Virgia, Ohio, and New York. Despite this fatal statistic, the ants continue the slave trade. Somebody call DCFS.
If you are interested in further information regarding the minds of ants check out this mind blowing spectacle. Scientists poured cement into the tunnels of an ant colony, and after waiting for it to harden, excavated many tonnes of earth to analyze the structure of the whole colony. They found a copious amount of roads, sub roads, garbage dumps, fungal gardens, nurseries, and more. Even more amazingly, the tunnels were designed for optimal ventilation, and efficient transportation. Each colony, from an ant’s perspective, is equivalent of building the Great Wall of China.
You are walking on top of thousands of world wonders every day!