Leafcutter Ants Can Farm

Leafcutter ants live in the soil, but they crawl up into the canopies of trees. They cut chunks out of the leaves to bring back down to the soil and feed a fungus that produces proteins and sugars. The ants cannot digest the leaves, but can feed on what the fungus produces, essentially making the ants farmers.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Leafcutter ants live in the soil, but forage way up high in the canopies of trees. 00:12

  2. Leafcutter ants grow their own crops using chunks of leaves in order to sustain themselves. 01:00

  3. Ants have harnessed the microbes to make antibiotics for themselves long before humans did. 01:47

Written by Curiosity Staff June 12, 2015

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