Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Clever Ant Farmers Harvest Seeds

Pogonomyrmex barbatus is a close relative of P. badius. Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Joel Kontinen

According to the Darwinian story, chimps and other big mammals should certainly be much smarter that tiny ants who have a minuscule brain.

However, ants seem to defy this dogma at almost every turn. Even evolutionists believe that they created an elaborate farming system some “25 million years” ago.

Ants are living fossils that haven’t changed in “100 million years".

Today’s ants seem to know basic mathematics, and are able to build impromptu bridges and living rafts, for instance.

New research discloses yet another surprise. As New Scientist puts it,

“Florida harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex badius, have developed a clever farming strategy to do so – they plant seeds, wait for them to germinate and then eat the soft spoils.

The article goes on to explain just how clever the ants are. While they cannot crack up the hard seeds, they have found a way to get at the nutritious food:

Germination … splits the tough husk, making the seed contents available as food for the ants. A single large seed may have nutritional value of 15 smaller seeds, so it makes sense to collect it and wait for it to crack open. Seeds from various species germinate at different times, which may give the ants a steady supply of their ‘crop’ ”.

The Bible describes ants as very industrious creatures and it definitely is true.


Simičević, Vedrana. 2017. Harvester ants farm by planting seeds to eat once they germinate. New Scientist (13 January).