Ants Practice Nepotism, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 26, 2003   View Article

The highly social and complex world of ants is not void of selfish acts. Worker ants of the species Formica fusca apparently can distinguish who their closest relatives are and kill their more distant relations.

“That workers capitalize on this ability simply means that the workers use the information they have to enhance their genetic contribution to future generations,” said Liselotte Sundström, an entomologist at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

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