New research discloses yet another surprise. As New Scientist puts it, “Florida harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex badius, have developed a clever farming strategy to do so – they plant seeds, wait for them to germinate and then eat the soft spoils.”
The article goes on to explain just how clever the ants are. While they cannot crack up the hard seeds, they have found a way to get at the nutritious food:
“Germination … splits the tough husk, making the seed contents available as food for the ants. A single large seed may have nutritional value of 15 smaller seeds, so it makes sense to collect it and wait for it to crack open. Seeds from various species germinate at different times, which may give the ants a steady supply of their ‘crop’ ”.
The Bible describes ants as very industrious creatures and it definitely is true.
Simičević, Vedrana. 2017. Harvester ants farm by planting seeds to eat once they germinate. New Scientist (13 January).