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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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ScienceShot: Ant Queens Rob Their Own Cradles
10 January 2014 1:00 pm
When looking for mates, some ant species don’t venture far from the family tree. In colonies of an ant from the Philippines, pictured above (Cardiocondyla argyrotricha), newly mature males will fight to the death to mate with their sister-queens. But often, there aren’t enough males to go around. So to form new colonies, virgin queens mate with their own sons, researchers report in Naturwissenschaften. To make the discovery, the scientists set up 31 artificial ant colonies with an unhatched queen and a set of sterile female worker ants and watched for the emergence of unfertilized male and fertilized female pupae. In all the colonies, queens could not lay female eggs until after a son was ready to reproduce. They even filmed one mother-son pair in the act of mating. Such coupling in ants, wasps, and bees is rare because it usually produces large numbers of sterile males. But these Oedipal insects seem to have found ways to avoid that problem.