Chemicals make the difference between life and death for these insects
When an ant dies, other ants move the dead insect out of the nest. Sometimes, the dead ant gets moved away very soon — within an hour of dying. This behavior is interesting to scientists, who wonder how ants know for sure — and so soon — that another ant is dead.
One scientist recently came up with a way to explain this ant behavior. Dong-Hwan Choe is a biologist, a scientist who studies living things, at the University of California, Riverside. Choe found that Argentine ants have a chemical on the outside of their bodies that signals to other ants, “I’m dead — take me away.”
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