Subterranean…blind…predatory…smokin’ hot AILF! These are all adjectives that you could use to describe a newly discovered ant from the Amazon rainforest. Dubbed the Martialis heureka or “Ant from Mars” (not kidding), the sightless creature lives inside the soil and presumably hunts prey with massive mandibles. The Ant from Mars also represents a new subfamily of ant, a discovery that hasn’t happened since 1923 (Note: see comments for various competing view points).
Take me to your watermelon.
After evaluating the DNA of the ant, researchers have concluded that this ant is on the bottom of the evolutionary ant tree, meaning it is likely a representation of early forms of ants, almost a living fossil from a time before ants evolved to live behind my refrigerator and refuse to die no matter how many freaking puddles of boric acid and poison traps I leave out and then my girlfriend blames me for being messy and leaving crumbs all over the kitchen when really these little things are so freaking tenacious that they just refuse to die and now I can’t cook a meal without my girlfriend doing a freaking white glove test on everything to make sure it’s clean. Ahh, the good old days.
It seems that five years ago, two specimens of the Ant from Mars were actually found, and then promptly lost (at least according to this article). Either way, University of Texas at Austin researchers Christian Rabeling, Jeremy Brown and Manfred Verhaagh published the discovery of the Ant from Mars in the latest issue of the page-turner, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.