Predicting the future of ants

Predicting the future of ants

Many many years ago, when all that was around was wildflowers and forests, there was a very different form of ants. But as time went on and the environment changed, so did the ants. Originally all queen ants had wings, now there are isolated colonies that have lost their wings.

Is evolution of insects predictable based on history alone? One scientist set out to test this theory. The ants which started out as a single population were separated into five main groups. As a way of dealing with climate changes, the queens in all of the groups lost their wings. While the ability to fly may give the queen more of an advantage to conquer more territory, the risk was too high and her need for wings was no longer valid. Genetic changes began to occur with each set of offspring until the ants became wingless.

All five separate colonies had the same results which suggest evolution is in fact predictable when it comes to environmental changes. But what happens if the climate changes even more? That question will be answered over time and additional testing.

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