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  Study finds why parasites can be good for society

Photo of article Ants are tough, loyal and hard workers, all working towards a common goal. New research from Germany, France and the United Kingdom suggests that political and economic theorists could learn lessons by examining how ant colonies allocate food resources. Current political systems use legislation and regulations to ensure that resources are not overexploited. The findings, presented in the journal The American Naturalist, show how ant colonies reap rewards when an external 'parasite' enters the picture, effectively helping curb resource overexploitation by resident queens. More female offspring with queen potential is the result, which in turn gives colony efficiency and fitness (or health) a big boost.

NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Published: 13 February 2012



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