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21 May 2024

Cannibal ant colony found in nuclear bunker

Photo: Bang

By Bang

Scientists have found a colony of cannibal wood arts in an old nuclear bunker.

The unique group of insects appears to have solely survived on the corpses of its fallen members while housed in a main nest build in a vertical ventilation pipe in the bunker in Poland.

Every year, a large number of ants fell down the pipe, but the offshoot colony thrived despite the difficult conditions.

According to a team led by Professor Wojciech Czechowski at the Polish Academy of Science, the ants had to survive on their own nestmates.

The paper's authors added: "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."