Hmmmm, imagine a world without males!!!!


A group of Amazonian ants have evolved an extremely unusual social system: They are all female and reproduce via cloning. Though their sexual organs have virtually disappeared, they have also gained some extraordinary abilities.University of Arizona biologist Anna Himler originally began studying the ants, called Mycocepurus smithii, because they had incredible success as farmers. Many breeds of ant keep domesticated “farms” where they breed various kinds of fungus for nourishment. But Mycocepurus smithii was able to breed fungus far more successfully, and in greater varieties, than other ants Himler had encountered.

As she and her team studied the insects, they realized there were no male ants anywhere to be found. Himler told the BBC that it’s possible the ants evolved so as “not to operate under the usual constraints of sexual reproduction.” Interestingly, the fungi that the ants cultivate also reproduce asexually. But why would these ants choose to emulate the reproductive cycle favoured by their crops? Himler explains:
“It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring.”

All the members of the colony are clones of the queen. While that means the queen can control every aspect of the population, it also makes the colony vulnerable to pandemics. A virus that can kill one ant can kill all of them, since they all have the exact same immune systems. On the other hand, it seems that a lack of men gave these women more time and energy to cultivate some of the most elaborate forms of ant agriculture ever studied.

According to Himler, ants often evolve highly unusual reproductive strategies. But all-female ant societies are highly rare.




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5 responses to “Hmmmm, imagine a world without males!!!!

  1. Louise

    Ohhh ain’t that a pretty little thing. I saw something about this on the news and it is cute, I wonder how much better life would be if we didn’t have any men about???? Might be a bit boring to be honest cos if you need a good laugh and some cheering up watching men is so funny.Hope you’re having a nice weekend chick.Bright blessings xxx

  2. Sheila

    Blinking Heck Pen thats very interesting .. In the other hand a world without men would be a bit boring xxxx take care

  3. ..

    Very interesting and informative blog !!! A wold w/out men … the ants are doing JUST FINE !!! A wold w/no b****t pains and heart aches … yeah, I’d love that.Have a wonderful evening my friend !!! LOVE, Alex xxxxxxxx

  4. Steven

    A world without men?? I would rather imagine a world without hate or fear then a world without men or a world without women. A world without men bashing or a world without women bashing. A world without violence now there is an idea. Enjoied the story, thanks Penny. Love and LightSteven

  5. Deb's

    ooh no … definitely not… I enjoy the company of men, that sounds soooo bad but you know what i mean, i Imay find blokes confusing at times, but living without their input or any involvement in my life, thats just too scary a thought… some of my closest and most profound relationships have been with n hugsdebsxxx ps cake is almost done… ;))

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