Matriarch Madness: Mechanism of Social Parasitism and Colony Takeover in Ants

Carpenter ants play an important role in an ecosystem; they break down wood into smaller pieces that will ultimately become part of the soil. But a parasitic ant can rapidly take over and destroy a colony by simply disguising herself through chemical means.

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Winter coat color determines species survival in a changing climate

We’ve all seen pictures of a bright white arctic fox or snowshoe hare in a snowy landscape. But did you know, these same animals actually have brown coats during the summer? The ability of animals to change their seasonal coat color enables them to camouflage themselves against the landscape year round. A decrease in the duration of winter snow cover is one of the most widespread signals of climate change. Without snow, bright white arctic foxes and snowshoe hares will be obvious to predators and have decreased survival. A recent study reports that populations that have a mix of individuals with either brown or white winter coats may be better able to adapt and persist during this age of climate change.

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