Farmer ants have recently been discovered on the Fiji islands. Ants are already known for being hard-workers. However, this species takes the game to a whole other level. They are real farmers who plant seeds, fertilize their saplings, and consume the product they grow themselves when it is ripe enough to harvest!
Humans seem less and less self-sufficient!
The ant species called ‘phildris nagasau,' who live in the tropical climate of Fiji, not only consumes the nectar of the fruits they grow themselves, they also use the tuber crops as nests.
According to news published on Deutsche Welle, Botanics professor, Susanne Renner, working at the Ludwigs-Maximilians University in Munich, states that these animals are the only species that plant the seeds of their future nests. Renner adds that these ants can also grow fresh coffee plants by carrying fertilizers to the plant for weeks.
Just like real farmers! Plant to harvest!
Susanne Renner, who conducts research in Borneo and Fiji islands, where the tropical plant and animal species live, mentions that the ants living in this area are no different than any farmer, who first plants to be able to harvest later.
Professor Renner argues that this is an innate characteristic of these ants, and adds that otherwise they wouldn't be able to decide which seed to plant.
Guillaume Chomicki, whose Ph.D. thesis Susanne Renner mentors, climbed on the top of the trees and sat there for hours to observe and conduct various experiments in order to measure the intelligence level of this amazing species, who act in a planned and organized way to achieve a common goal.
Chomicki provided the ants with other kinds of seeds, but the ants only picked the ones that they can use as a nest later.
These ants, who work in shifts to be able to finish building their nest, fertilize their saplings with feces and urine; but they don't plant in every tree trunk.
The ants choose the tree trunks according to their suitability for the nests they plan on settling in. Coffee seeds are carried until the top of the specific kinds of trees in rain forests by the ants so that they can receive sunlight. By leaving holes in their scapus, coffee plants, in return, provide them with an environment that can be inhabited by the queen and in which ant larva can be kept safe until they fully develop;
It has been found that coffee and ants emerged three million years ago.
Susanne Renner thinks that it is sensational that these ants have already given life to six different types of plants.
Munich-based scientists say that there are 12,000 species of ants living in the world, but that there is still little known about them. Susanne Renner, who states that this behavior is observed only in bees and white ants, emphasizes the fact that species have to collaborate to survive and that plants spread in nature thanks to ants.