52 million year old parasitism

52 million year old parasitism


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Science will never cease to surprise us at any time, not only because of what is already known but also because of what is being discovered little by little. One of the most recent findings has been that of fossil of a 52 million-year-old beetle, said to have the ability to live with ants, taking advantage of their eggs and using their resources for the comfort of their nest.

This fossil was found enclosed within an amber in India is the best known example of social parasitism, also called myrmecophilia.

This finding was published in different specialized media, managing to attract the attention of many scientists and biologists who, after several studies, demonstrated that the diversification of these beetles is directly related to the ecological increase of modern ants.

Joseph Parker, a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History and a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University stated that “Despite the fact that ants are an essential part of many of today's terrestrial ecosystems, ants were beginning to take off when this beetle had long been on Earth, deceiving them and subduing them for their own benefit.”, Something that has attracted a lot of attention around the world.

This reveals that the ants had truly large nests full of resources, allowing the beetles to grow with them.

There are currently about 370 documented species belonging to the group of myrmecophiles or ant-loving beetles, with a measure of between 1 to three millimeters in length and it is stated that these are not all existing species, but that many more have yet to be discovered.

In these cases we could say that beetles are more intelligent than ants since they can circumvent the security of the entrance to their ant hills. The ants use a pheromone code that identifies individuals who are or are not intruders, but the beetle manages to circumvent that system, something that puts researchers in check.

What is known is that beetles find a safe place against predators in anthillsThey have a huge reserve of food inside and have a whole universe to enjoy resources at their fingertips without too much effort.

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