Nowadays we say Win-Win, referring to a Situation that offers advantages for all parties Involved. Biologists, this concept is already known for a long time. They call it symbiosis.
researchers have some such purpose of identified communities. So, there are hermit crabs on the housing anemones have settled. Keep the enemies of the cancer prior to eating, but he carries them to the feeding grounds. Also famous is the clown fish, for example, The animals live between the poisonous stinging cells of anemones and are fish safe from robbery. In return, the fish clean tentacles and oxygen provide rich water.
Exciting such life communities, particularly from an evolutionary perspective. How have you developed as a community?
crabs defend coral reefs against snail invasion symbiosis crabs defend coral reefs against snail invasion
scientists from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago have examined this question for the relations of ants and plants. Millions of years ago the animals used plants, initially only as a food source. Later, the special features emerged in the case of plants, the ants selectively attract or keep.
Some of today’s species of ants are hiding behind the thorns, or drink juices, nectar and other plants: The plants fight back again with the help of the ants pests, or let your seeds from the small insects to distribute.
but when this symbiotic relationship, the scientists from the Field Museum asked. “That was a chicken-or-Egg question,” says co-author Richard Ree. “It all began with ants, which have developed practices in order to benefit from the plants or developed the plant structures, in order to make the ants?”
The researchers looked at the development history of more than 1730 ant species and more than 10,000 plant genera. You dröselten, when certain characteristics in ants and plants appeared.
Video: suspension bridge made of thousands of ants
Video Julio Diaz Orias
showed The analysis that, first of all, predatory, began ground-dwelling ants to climb and to conquer plants and as a habitat. Then some species began to plant, for use as a food source. This happened in the lower Cretaceous, the section of the earth’s history, which began 145 million years ago and 100 million years ago ended.
Later, towards the end of the Cretaceous, laid some of the species the focus of their lives on plants, and put on their nests. Most of these adaptations were, however, emerged later, in the Cenozoic, the scientists write in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. Which began 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs became extinct, and continues to this day.
The investigation revealed that the plants developed the special characteristics, of which ants benefit later. Nectar glands appeared, therefore, in the later Cretaceous period, but especially in the Cenozoic. Special hiding places for ant – Domatia – emerged recently.
To increase the speciation among the ants is the use of plants not or only temporarily, the scientists write. “We see no part of the ant-tree species that depend on plants for food or habitat, grows faster, or faster fans out as parts of the family tree without those species,” says Nelsen.