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The Reign of the Hell Ants

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Channel: PBS Eons
Categories: Archeology / Paleontology   |   Biology   |   Science  
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Description

This ancient species had the same six legs and segmented body that wed recognize from an ant today. But it also had a huge, scythe-like jaw and a horn coming out of its head. This bizarre predator belonged to a group known as hell ants. But theyre gone now, and were still trying to figure out why.

Please see the pinned comment for a disclaimer on the ethical issues surrounding Burmese amber in paleontology.

The thumbnail is an illustration of Haidomyrmex by Franz Anthony. Thanks to Franz (http://franzanth.com) and Ceri Thomas (https://nixillustration.com/) for their Hell Ant illustrations featured in this episode!

And special thanks to Phillip Barden and David Grimaldi for providing images from their paper on Cretaceous ants:
Barden, Phillip and David Grimaldi. Adaptive Radiation in Socially Advanced Stem-Group Ants from the Cretaceous Current Biology, February 22, 2016 https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdfExtended/S0960-9822(16)00041-5

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

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References: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V5P1Aq5U3FrkA9Gpu9Ze91InpadVCiQ2Ig7q1J_vN-k/edit?usp=sharing

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