Genetic scientists create man-made monster ants with huge heads and jaws


Rob Waugh
UK Daily Mail
January 6, 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.

[...]

Authors Dr Rajendhran Rajakumar, from McGill University, Canada, and colleagues wrote: ‘We uncovered an ancestral development potential to produce a novel supersoldier subcaste that has been retained throughout a hyperdiverse ant genus that evolved 35 to 60 million years ago.’

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