BEACON TRANSCRIPT – In some ways, the way of the ant mirrors the way of mankind. Like ants, humans have begun to socialize and wage wars from the dawn of time. An amber deposit proves prehistoric ants were socializing and fighting much like the modern ants.
The amazing conclusion was drawn by a group of scientists who decided to take a closer look at a Burmese amber. According to their study, this precious prison or tomb hold the earthly remains of no less than 20 worker ants. They’ve also managed to pin down the age of the amber prison which is around 100 million years.
Phillip Barden, the lead author of the study, who is also a fossil insect expert stated that this discovery is indeed a miracle. The insect expert explained that there is a one percent chance that an insect, such as an ant, could get trapped in amber. But, what happens when you find no less than 20 ants trapped in the same precious prison?
Well, according to Barden and his team of researchers in charge of the project, this is clearly the outlines of a highly refined social-driven behavior. Moreover, it would seem that the ants were not alone in their war. According to the team’s estimations, the worker ants that got trapped in the amber used to share the same piece of land with the dinosaurs. As to their whereabouts, the specialists speculate that these ants went extinct approximately 10 million years after the dinosaurs.
Although the newly discovered species of ants went extinct 10 million years after the dinosaurs, the researchers could not establish the exact facts that led to the phenomenon, though they agree that is has something to do with climate change.
Meanwhile, the researchers managed to identify and study two new species of ant. One of them was dubbed the Hell Ant, and according to Barden, the frightening ant had tusk-like formations on their head, much like the wooly mammoth. The other species of ants discovered by the team of scientists was a gigantic soldier ant called Gigantotermes Rex.
Moreover, the precious prison provided an insight into the ancient ant’s social life. Much like their modern peers, the ants that lived during the Cretaceous Era, had a strict social hierarchy and most of them spent their lives working for the collective. There were worker ants, soldier ants and, of course, the Queen and its court of suitors.
The amber deposit proves prehistoric ants were socializing and fighting, much like the modern ant. The team also managed to establish that although there is not a direct lineage between the 100 million-year-old ants and the modern ants, they do share similar traits.
Furthermore, the amber deposit managed to tip over a bit the timeline. As explained by the senior scientist, the oldest termites found on Earth up until now were 10 to 20 million years old.