The UK's Nationwide Geology Club for Children

Fossil of Hell Ant proves different killer strategy

Hell Ant killing its prey

NJIT; CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES; UNIVERSITY OF RENNES, FRANCE

Rockwatchers may be interested to read a post written by Lucy Hicks of Science magazine who reports on a new-found fossil which proves how an ancient species of ants known as Hell Ants – or Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri – killed their prey differently to modern ants.

Lucy writes that the scientists who wrote the paper for Current Biology believe that these ancient extinct species of ants caught and killed prey by moving its sharp mandibles upward (rather than horizontally as modern ants do) to pin its prey against the “horn” between its antennae.

The findings are compelling because the fossilised ant is holding its prey in its deadly grip. The images shows the Hell Ant in action.

Read the Science report here.

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