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Saharan silver ants

Saharan silver ants

C009/8281

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60.2 MB (60.0 MB compressed)

5616 x 3744 pixels

47.5 x 31.8 cm ⏐ 18.7 x 12.5 in (300dpi)

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Credit

VINCENT AMOUROUX , MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VINCENT AMOUROUX , MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Saharan silver ants (Cataglyphis bombycina). These ants have a number of adaptations that allow them to withstand the high temperatures of the Sahara, although only for a few minutes at a time. Before leaving their underground nest they begin to produce heat shock proteins (hsps), which protect vital cellular processes from the heat. Other organisms only produce hsps in response to heat, which would be too late for the ants. They also have longer legs than other ants to raise their bodies from the very hot sand and run using only four of their six legs.

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Model release not required. Property release not required.

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