Giant Ant Fossil

May 9, 2011 by USA Post 

Giant Ant FossilGiant Ant Fossil, A giant ant the size of a small bird may seem like something out of a terror plot of B-movie. But 50 million years ago, this ant roamed the world.

Lubei Titanomyrma known as the ant is about five centimeters (two inches) long and is one of the biggest ants ever. More importantly, this insect could shed light on how climate change affects the distribution of life during the early Eocene, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Although little is known about the ant in their diet and behavior, what is more surprising is the fact that the winged queen ant was discovered in sediments of an ancient lake in Wyoming. However, this ant is believed to exist only in tropical regions.

Temperatures were much higher during the Eocene, particularly for short periods of global warming known as “hyperthermals.” The continent does not seem the same as they do today. Europe and North America once it is connected via a land bridge that ran across the Arctic.

Scientists now believe that these ants exploited these periods of warming to immigrate to Europe, which once had a tropical climate, North America. Understanding how these species migrated during past warming events will be increasingly important as climate change takes hold once again, co-author Bruce Archibald Simon Frasier University Physorg said.

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