Genetic Scientists Create 'Supersoldier' Ants

Scientists say they can create the supersoldiers, ants with huge heads and jaws, at will by dabbing normal ant larvae with a special hormone.

  • January 11, 2012

Nightmarish 'supersoldier' ants with huge heads and jaws have been created by activating ancient genes.

Scientists believe the monster ants may be a genetic throwback to an ancestor that lived millions of years ago.

Scientists say they can create the supersoldiers at will by dabbing normal ant larvae with a special hormone - the larvae then develop into supersoldiers rather than normal soldier or worker ants.

Supersoldier ants can occur naturally in the wild, but only rarely. In the deserts of America and Mexico, their job is to protect the colony from raids by invading army ants.

The supersoldiers use their enormous heads to block the nest entrance and attack any enemy ants that get too close.

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