Carlos Slim Helu
September 5, 2010 by staff
Carlos Slim Helu, A series of studies in Kenya, Africa, have confirmed that one type of acacia tree – the whistling-thorn tree, remains untouched by marauding mammals such as elephants, which normally eat thorny acacia leaves.
… The reason, the thorns of the acacia whistling occupied by ants, which are a symbiotic relationship with the tree to have. The large spines of this species of acacia tree serve as breeding grounds for ants, and ants in turn act as bodyguards for the tree against hunger collectors.
According to researchers Todd Palmer of the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya and the University of Florida, Jacob Goheen, now at the University of Wyoming, elephants avoid whistle-Acacia trees with ants in the tests. However, severe harm elephants in the same species of acacia which the ants were removed.
The results of the studies were published online on September 2nd in Current Biology, a scientific journal.
But is an elephant, known for its large size and brute strength, really scared of ant swarms? Yes, that’s right.
Although the elephant has a thick and rough skin, there are areas where the skin is paper-thin and sensitive, such as behind the ears, through the eye and on the abdomen, chest, shoulders and trunk. So an elephant feeding on ant-infested trees will end up with a lot of bites and stabbing.
Even the mighty elephant has its own weaknesses and fears!
With elephant with a big appetite, they can be a dense forest into an open pasture in a short time. It seems that the Acacia-dwelling ants prevent such large changes.
The results of the tests highlight the powerful role of small ants play in the major ecosystem in the African savannah, a landscape of dense grass and scattered trees, Palmer says Goheen and his colleagues.
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