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Photo: Mite Attacking Ant Entombed in Amber, Oldest Fossil of Its Kind

An ancient ant with a mite attached to its head is the oldest such fossil ever found, a new study says.

Amazing Animals That Walk on Water

A surprising study reveals ants can walk on water—find out what other animals can also accomplish this incredible feat.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Insect Edition: Wings & Stings

Whether they’re singing, stinging, or splattering your windshield, insects are back for the summer season. Maybe that’s why readers wanted the buzz on bugs in this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions. We’ll start with this gnawing question: What insect has the worst bite? —Doug Rhodehamel via Facebook The person to ask is Justin Schmidt,…

March 30, 2014: Skiing Everest, Mission Blue, Search for Michael Rockefeller, Violent Animal Reproduction, and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, figure out if Mother Nature is really trying to kill you, ski off the seven summits including Everest, look inside the city of Damascus during the Syrian War, dive into Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, look at how much food we waste each year, take a walk on the surface of Mars, and find out what we should pack on a camping trip.

How Ants Make Rafts to Save the Queen

When in danger, flood ants use their buoyant babies as flotation devices because it results in fewer deaths, a new study says.

How Do Ants Get Their Magnetic Compasses?

Tropical leafcutter ants rely on a magnetic mineral to navigate long distances, a new study says.

Enemies With Benefits: How Parasitic Ants Protect Their Hosts

What might be the best-titled research paper of the year comes to us courtesy of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, an investigation entitled “Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.” Have you got your popcorn ready? It’s a tale of three species. We begin with a fungus-growing ant called Sericomyrmex amabilis found in the tropical…

New “Demon” Ants Named for Maya Underlords

The devil’s in the details when it comes to fearsome new ant species described recently in Central America.

Top 10 Headlines Today: Mexico’s Ancient Human Sacrifice, Ant Family Trees…

On our radar today: Archaeologists suspect human sacrifice may have occurred at a temple in Mexico’s Valley of Oaxaca, ants have jobs like nurses, janitors, and foragers, and…

Robot Ants Could Make Us More Efficient

Like real ants, artificial insects choose the shortest route home—giving insight into how people can better move and communicate, a new study says.

Ant supercolonies invading cities, study finds

It’s not only humans that flourish in large settlements. Some ants find urban life so accommodating that their populations explode and they form supercolonies in cities. “One of the most common house ant species might have been built for living in some of the smallest spaces in a forest, but the ants have found ways…

Congo Chimps Harvest Ants Sustainably

Chimpanzees in the wild use specialized “tool kits” to forage food, it is known. Scientists reported earlier this year that chimps raiding beehives used several tools in a single tool-using episode and could also use a single tool for many different purposes. Now the same researchers report that not only do chimps use specialized tool…

Ants by the Score

Biology professor Dan Kjar drove more than 600 miles (about 960 kilometers) from Elmira College with graduating senior Gabriel Sackett to find and number Indiana Dunes’ ants. I find both in the Inventory Tent, examining specimens through microscopes and mounting them with pins. “We’ve definitely got 15 species of ants so far, and I’m confident…

Alien Ants Prevent Geckos Pollinating Endangered Flower

The critically endangered Roussea flower has been vanishing from Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. Now scientists have figured out why. “The blue-tailed gecko is the only pollinator and seed disperser for the flower,” says biologist Dennis Hansen. But alien ants that have invaded the island “have also taken a liking to the flower…