Posted on Mar 5, 2019

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

Tropical Insects: Amazing Leaf-Cutter Ants - I never cease to be amazed by the leaf-cutter ants. The most common species of tropical insects in Costa Ballena is Atta cephalotes, and it has been accomplishing some truly astounding feats for millions of years. Let’s have a look at a few.

Leaf-cutting ants harvest around 15% of all the green matter produced by the rain forest. All of that foliage is broken down and recycled back into the web of forest life.
The ants consume some of the plant juices, but the bulk of the leaves are fed to a fungus, which provides the primary source of nutrients for the colony. DNA testing has determined that the fungus the ants grow today is genetically identical to the one their ancestors learned to cultivate 50 million years ago.
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