One Ant Can Grow and Shrink Your Brain

Researchers have discovered the first insect species that can change the size of its brain and return it to

the original volume. These are Indian jumping ants.

And this ability has important uses.These ants do not die as soon as their queen dies. Instead, special favorites take her place. They expand their ovaries and contract their brains to produce offspring. The ovaries enlarge fivefold, filling the entire abdominal cavity, and their brain contracts anywhere from 20% to 25%.

Social insects such as ants usuallycreate a caste society, where the queen rules as the only reproducer, She releases pheromones that prevent the rest of the ants from laying eggs. The rest of the individuals work tirelessly: they get food and protect the nest.

If the Indian ant queen dies, thenthen something like a ritual fight begins: the worker ants engage in fierce duels. As a result, elected workers take the queen's place. There are usually five to ten of them in a colony of about 100 ants. Eventually, these reproductive workers continue the mating process and prolong the life of the colony.

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