Wild Things: Life as We Know It- page 5 | Science | Smithsonian
Current Issue
July / August 2014  magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Climate change causes carbon dioxide to dissolve in ocean water making it more acidic and efficient at transmitting sound waves. (Paul Souders / Corbis)

Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Chewing dinosaurs, climate change, self-sacrificing ants and black bears

The Collictive Good

ants
(Maura McCarthy)
Scientists in Brazil have observed an unusual act of selflessness. When Forelius ants retire for the night, one or more workers remain outside the colony, kicking sand to seal the entrance. If that protects those within from predators or rain, it also dooms the outside ants to die overnight of exposure. It's the first known case of "pre-emptive self-sacrifice" among insects.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus