26.8 MB (1.8 MB compressed)
3526 x 2661 pixels
30.0 x 22.6 cm ⏐ 11.8 x 8.9 in (300dpi)
STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leaf cutter ant's head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a leaf cutter ant. This insect lives in colonies and uses its powerful mandibles to remove pieces of leaves. The leaves themselves are not used as food; instead the ant carries the leaf fragment back to the colony, where it chews it into mulch. It then adds enzyme-rich fecal droppings and a small amount of fungus from a previously mulched leaf. The fungus feeds on the mulch and the ants in turn rely on the fungus to provide them with nutrition.
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