Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, March 14, 2008

This Just In: Ants No Longer Morally Superior to Humans

Posted By on Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM

click to enlarge them_thumb.jpg
Scientists are deeply disapointed with ants following the results of a recent study. MSNBC reports that contrary to what was once believed, not all ant larvae have the same potential to become queens. It turns out that some male ants' progeny have a genetic leg up on the competition.
"These ants have a 'royal' gene or genes, giving them an unfair advantage and enabling them to cheat many of their altruistic sisters out of their chance to become a queen themselves," said study team member Bill Hughes of the University of Leeds in the U.K.
While genetically superior male ants have always existed, colonies could detect their larvae and eliminate some of them, thus correcting the queen ant lottery. Hughes continued to ascribe an alarming number of human of characteristics to his ant friends, saying:
"So we think the males with these royal genes have evolved to somehow spread their offspring around more colonies and so escape detection. The rarity of the royal lines is actually an evolutionary strategy by the cheats to escape suppression by the altruistic masses that they exploit."
Wait, so the altruistic masses are actually exploiting the male ants who are cheaters? Science is so confusing.-Andy Wright

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Andy Wright

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
    Crowds gathered September 6-7 for the 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Visitors enjoyed arts, crafts, cultural exhibits, food and a dog fashion show. Photographs by Dhoryan Rizo.
  • Felton: Touring the Redwoods
    Blue skies meet redwood canopies in the mountain town of Felton, located just north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. Once a bustling logging community, the town is now a mix of mellow locals and serene wilderness. Visitors can enjoy the redwoods in nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and splash in swimming holes in the San Lorenzo River. For a bite to eat stop by Rocky’s Cafe for fruit-laden pancakes, barbeque at the Cowboy Bar & Grill and poolside burgers at the Trout Farm Inn. Other stops worth checking out include Roaring Camp Railroads, the Mount Hermon zip line tour, and the educational Bigfoot Discovery Museum. For beer or cocktails a log cabin bar has you covered.