Invading ant threatens unique African ecosystem
Call it Game of Thorns. A prickly tree that grows in the clay-rich soils of East Africa recruits stinging ants to defend itself from gnawing giraffes and marauding bull elephants. In return, the trees provide nectar and shelter—swollen thorns—for the insects. The rewards are so attractive that, in a drama reminiscent of a medieval fantasy TV show, four native ant species battle each other to inhabit the trees. But according to a new study, this warring kingdom is under siege by an even more violent outsider. The consequences could affect elephants, other large wildlife, and perhaps the future of iconic reserves such as Serengeti National Park.
Read it. It’s quite amazing what wondrous things occur everywhere around us in the lives of various insects and plants. This is in East Africa but there are many similarly sensitive ecosystems everywhere around us that we pay no mind as we go about our days. The complexity of evolution is awe-inspiring at times (or always awe-inspiring actually).