City-Dwelling Ants Are Beginning To Crave Junk Food | Atlanta Ant Control

March 9, 2017 | Posted In: Ants

City-Dwelling Ants Are Beginning To Crave Junk Food | Atlanta Ant Control

We all know that littering is bad. There are very few acts of irresponsibility that are more distasteful than mindlessly throwing garbage into the great outdoors. However, if you live in a big city, such as New York or Los Angeles, there may not be any harm in throwing your discarded food onto the ground. This is because big cities have plenty of ants that have developed a taste for junk food. The easy access that city-dwelling ants have had to discarded junk food over the decades has caused city-ants to prefer junk food exclusively.

The researchers discovered that a particular ant species, which dwells within the cracks of sidewalks, has developed a taste for junk food. The pavement-dwelling ants are known in the entomological community as the Tetramorium ant species. However, other species of city ants prefer to dwell within parks and grass lawns, and they do not seem to enjoy junk food with the same degree of enthusiasm as the Tetramorium species. So why does this difference in food preference exist in such a closely related group of insects?

It turns out that the bodies of sidewalk-dwelling ants possess higher amounts of a particular isotope known as carbon thirteen. This isotope is commonly found in sugarcane, corn and pretty much every type of processed food, including meat. Due to the high amounts of carbon thirteen found within the Tetramorium species of ant, it makes sense that these types of ants would require foods that contain carbon thirteen, or junk food, to be more precise.

As you can surely guess, the species of ant that dwells within the parks and grasslands of big cities does not possess as much carbon thirteen within their bodies as their pavement pounding counterparts. Due to the relatively low amount of carbon thirteen in grass-dwelling ants, these ants cannot handle junk food as well as the Tetramorium species. This difference is a clear result of the sidewalk-dwelling ants need to locate any form of sustenance that they can find in order to survive, and in their case it was nachos and hotdogs. In the grass-dwelling on the other hand, food is far more abundant, s. So it is not bad enough that the United States has high obesity rate as a result of junk food consumption, now even some bugs in American cannot avoid this stuff.

Have you ever spotted a group of ants eating a large unhealthy food item along a big city sidewalk?