When Their Tools Get Dull, Leaf-Cutters Switch Jobs

The study provides a glimpse of nature's way of providing for its displaced workers.

December 16, 2010

Eugene, Ore. — When their razor-sharp mandibles wear out, leaf-cutter ants change jobs, remaining productive while letting their more efficient sisters take over cutting, say researchers from two Oregon universities.

Their study — appearing online ahead of regular publication in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology — provides a glimpse of nature's way of providing for its displaced workers.

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