Who the "hell of the ants" and why they look so strange?

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2020-08-10 14:20:11

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This is the head of an ant. But not hellish, and the ordinary

To date, scientists know of the existence of about 15,000 species of ants. Given that most of us saw with my own eyes a maximum of 3-4 of them, this fact for some people it may be very sudden. And that number is not the limit, because scientists believe that in the near future they will be able to open about 10 000 species of ants. Unfortunately, not all of them will be alive, because most insects have long been extinct and they can be recognized only by the remains. And the remains of ants is stored exclusively inside the fossilized tree resin known as amber. In 2017 in Myanmar has been found a fragment of amber, inside of which one of the ancient ancestors of modern ants eating a small beetle. To recognize the sight of the predator was only recently they found the so-called "ant hell" with a horn on his forehead and a human jaw. What else has scientists able to find out about this strange creature?

Ancient ants

One of the first ants on the Ground was told in research . In fact, these "infernal ants" known to scientists for a long time. All scientists have discovered 16 species, and the existence 14 of them became known only in recent decades. All of them were found in amber age of about 100 million years and are very different from modern ants. For the most part, these "hellish" creatures possess a formidable appearance — they have a terrible horns, the powerful jaws. Found species that belong to the species Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri, has exactly these features.

Hell ant and his victim inside the amber and the representation of the artist

In the found piece of amber ancestor of modern ants eats cockroach Caputoraptor elegans. Representatives of this species of insects is also long gone, so we had a chance to see freeze-frame collision of creatures that lived millions of years ago before us. Like modern ants, the extinct creature has mandibles, also known as mandibles. The so-called pair jaws, which open horizontally and are used for chewing food and building nests. Only here at hell ant they open horizontally, and worked as a human jaw, moving vertically.

Mandibles of insects.

Also on the head immured in amber ant got a horn. Apparently, scientists did not know about its purpose, because they are strongly focused attention on it. Now they believe this horn was used to capture victims. Thus, they could miss the cockroaches directly with the jaw, and lifting the upper jaw and pinning the victim between him and the horn. Not very convenient, but the chance of seizing the extraction of such a feature of the body structure are clearly increased.

the structure of the head a hell of an ant

the Extinction of animals

Researchers believe that the ants with horns appeared as "evolutionary experiment". Perhaps they would have lived to this day, however, they became extinct along with the dinosaurs, about 66 million years ago. The fact that many insects were able to survive the catastrophe, and the ants couldn't, proves that on the brink of extinction can be nearly all living organisms on our planet. But at the moment, the threat catches up with a lot of animals. For example, recently it became known that under the risk of extinction . But previously it was thought that rodents create a very tenacious and can adapt even to extreme conditions. You see, with a pace even the ubiquitous cockroaches are becoming an endangered species. All of this hinted even scientists, so that humanity is definitely worth doing to the environment.

Except that this is not as easy as it seems. It is in humanity that some people did not care for the environment and looming over the world's problems. Most of us continue to use plastic bags and plastic bottles, although the reports that they filled the seas and oceans every year if it gets bigger. Recently it became known that if mankind does not take measures to clean the planet from rubbish, a mass of plastic waste on our planet . That is, we risk drowning in its own waste.

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