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Females get along fine without males - in the world of tropical ants

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posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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Females get along fine without males - in the world of tropical ants


www.telegraph.co.uk

A type of tropical ant has dispensed with males altogether, according to scientists, and only the female of the species exists.

Experts have discovered a South American species that is exclusively female and reproduces asexually by cloning the queen.

Reproduction without sex is fairly common in the ant world, but the Mycocepurus smithii is the first known to be a male-free species. The phenomenon takes the stress out of finding a mate and may help keep the peace in colonies, the scientists believe.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk
www.bloomberg.com

*Mod edit to fix link.

[edit on 4/17/2009 by AshleyD]




posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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Wow.

I thought this was pretty darn amazing. An all female ant colony is simply unusual but the fact that they apparently are all clones the queen...what the??!


Unusual evolution

By "fingerprinting" DNA of the ant species - Mycocepurus smithii - they found them all to be clones of the colony's queen.

And when they dissected the female insects, they found them to be physically incapable of mating, as an essential part of their reproductive system known as the "mussel organ" had degenerated.

from the BBC article linked below

And you thought "Attack of the Clones" was just a cheesy Star Wars idea.

Just goes to show there are so many wonders yet to be discovered in our world. We really need to pay more attention to them.

The animal kingdom...such an amazing thing.

- Lee





www.telegraph.co.uk


(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk
www.bloomberg.com

*Mod edit to fix links.

[edit on 4/17/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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Damn right as well

Mod Note: One Line Post - Please Review This Link.

[edit on 4/17/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Not sure how all the links got screwed up.

I attempted to correct this but to no avail.

Sorry, maybe a MOD can help?

- Lee



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 03:24 PM
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Thank God not to be an Ant, then, how boring life would be.


Gosh, I can't imagine a World without males. What would there be to even be happy about then.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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The universe we live in has never tolerated stagnation. Every gene pool must be diversified or it fails.

The potatoes in Ireland were all taken from a single cutting. ALL the potatoes had the exact same genes since they were clones. One blight destroyed them all and caused the famine, which sent many of my ancestors to the Americas.

Inbreeding in animals usually has horrendous results over time.

There is a reason for this. Our diversity is what makes us strong. no single plague or virus can kill us all.

As for the ant colony that is just a bunch of clones? It will only take one disease and they will all cease to exist.

Nature does not tolerate stagnation.

Just my thoughts,

wupy



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by mrwupy
 


I didn't know that about the potatoes in Ireland, thanks for the information and the great observation on nature. I too think this to be so, and I find it quite wonderful really.

I just want more details on this colony to come out.

Like HOW do they clone the queen?
How did this colony begin to move in this direction?
Was it driven by some disaster that eliminated the males?
Were there ever any males at all?

I read something about fungus farming but it seemed like speculation at this point.

I guess I'll have to keep an eye on this one.

- Lee



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by lee anoma
reply to post by mrwupy
 


I didn't know that about the potatoes in Ireland, thanks for the information and the great observation on nature. I too think this to be so, and I find it quite wonderful really.

I just want more details on this colony to come out.

Like HOW do they clone the queen?
How did this colony begin to move in this direction?
Was it driven by some disaster that eliminated the males?
Were there ever any males at all?

I read something about fungus farming but it seemed like speculation at this point.

I guess I'll have to keep an eye on this one.

- Lee





Ants are very interesting creatures, you might be interested in AntWeb:
www.antweb.org...

According to AntWeb's article on the mycocepurus mithii, one biologist in 1961 found three males of that species in a swarm of 150 males of the mycocepurus goeldii, the mithii males did not attempt to mate with the goeldii queens.

www.antweb.org...



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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Ants are a truly interesting species. They wage war, take slaves and get drunk.

We can learn a lot from them.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by lee anoma
 


I seem to recall a whole genus or family of Japanese ants or termites that were parthenogenetic, and I thought the fringe-toed sand lizard was as well...
Wikipedia Parthenogenetic didn't confirm me on those, but it gives some whiptail lizards and a shark and Komodo dragons, which I was unaware of...
All of which goes to show, that even though it seems like EVERYTHING THAT REPRODUCES SEXUALLY LEAVES A CORPSE is true, the "obverted contraposition" THINGS THAT REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY DON'T LEAVE CORPSES, is not...



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by lee anoma
 


Wouldn't that make them asexual as opposed to female? Just my two cents. But of course what do I know?



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 


But then again, maybe there is some species of micro-life where the male and female come together completely, redistribute their body mass completely into son and daughter/sons-and-daughters cells leaving no parents left over + so no corpse(s)...but if so I never ran across it yet...but since I don't know I best shut up...



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