Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Prionomyrmex macrops - Dinosaur ants

The dinosaur ant, Prionomyrmex macrops, is the world's oldest known living ant species. 2 other species were  previously known only from Baltic amber, but in 1931 it was discovered living near Balladonia in Western Australia. The site location wasn't recorded so nothing more was known of it until 1977 when it was found at Poochera, 1300 km from Balladonia, also in Western Australia and later at Penong 180 km west of Poochera.

It has primitive anatomy that is believed to have changed very little if at all over the last 60 million years. Its social structure is relatively relaxed compared to that of other ants. Some of its behaviours are similar to those of other ants. In an area of the same size on the southern edge of the arid zone 250 species have been found. Arid zone ants work 24 hours/day, some still foraging when the soil surface temperature reaches as high as 65o C. They have a range of diets - seeds, meat, termites or other ants. Some even attacking the nests of other species then taking the larvae and pupae, those they don't eat they enslave.

Sources & Further reading

 

 

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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading