Ants have secret powers and that’s no secret at all, they are perfectly designed with amazing features that help them survive in extremely harsh conditions. They have the ability to carry giant amounts of weight over their almost invisibly thin shoulders, they are perfectly organized, they cope well with aggressive weather and they are experts at sniffing out body odor, according to a new, extensive study. Smell, hierarchy, determination and resistance are all extremely valuable attributes that make up for the secret life of ants.
Did you ever wonder how ants have the capacity to tell each other apart? They all look the same but they don’t smell the same and this is where the secret differentiator comes into play. A team of scientists from University of California, Riverside, has embarked on a mission to study the way ants tell each other apart in their colonies. It seems they are provided with extremely discrete, almost undetectable particular features in the way they perceive smell. Up until recently, their sniffing abilities have been completely underestimated. They are equipped with a unique way of sensing through their almost invisible noses, who should they approach and who they should stay away from.
Ants are social insects and have the special ability to detect each other’s smells with some special sensors present in their antennae. To discover the great abilities and capacities of ants, researchers have tested the way ants react to different odors by sticking tiny glass electrodes into sensory hairs on the insects’ antennae, to then expose the creature to tiny puffs of different hydrocarbons. Electrodes acted like sensors to show whether each antenna was responding and if the ant had recognized a particular smell. After efforts of analysis and behavioral change assessments, researchers have discovered that ants are extremely sensitive to chemical changes and they have sensory neurons that respond to a great variety of hydrocarbon odors.
The secret life of ants unfolds in extremely complex territories. They are equipped with the largest olfactory receptor genes known in insects, being capable to use their extremely powerful sense of smell to feel and sniff all the chemicals which can be found in the tiny cuticule of individuals and ultimately exactly identify each and every member of their society.
Moreover, recognition of particular individuals at close proximity in a large crowd is facilitated by use of low volatility cuticular carbons, a substance exclusively found in ants.
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