Ants and humans have had a long history of sharing food. That sharing wasn’t done out of the goodness of the human heart – but it was done out of necessity of the insects. Interestingly though, scientists have come to a new breakthrough that actually gives ants new credit when it comes to finding food. As it turns out, the new research indicates that ants are making more choices than one might imagine at first.
The research was executed in Manhattan, in New York City, and focuses on identifying some of the isotopes found inside of an ant. As the research panned out, the team learned that ants share many of the same isotopes as the fast food that humans enjoy. The connection is one that previously hadn’t been made, but actually reveals more about our diet as humans, and the food that we’re leaving behind.
The connection is pretty straightforward, too. As humans eat worse things, and leave worse food scraps behind – those insects and animals which pick up the scraps – will ultimately be consuming less nutritious things, and will eventually become a product of the food we eat. While that is a very simplistic way of explaining it – it’s just another example of the human impact on wildlife as a whole.
Clint Penick, a researcher at N.C. State University, who executed a lot of the research in New York said of his works, “I basically was walking around and then crouching down on the ground and huffing something off the sidewalk through this ridiculous-looking device, and not a single New Yorker was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ I guess I was not the weirdest person on the street.”
He may have been joking about the work that he was doing, but that doesn’t mean that work he was doing wasn’t serious. In fact, it’s some of the most insightful information that humans have gotten on ants or any insects of that nature in a very long time – and doing so in an urban environment was something that was particularly necessary. As a whole, the research of picking up the ants and then analyzing them – is something that can really lay some heavy groundwork heading into the future. It might not sell a lot of books, but this information is the kind of groundwork that is required to start a lot of larger projects.