In the 1930s, Australian ecologists shortsightedly introduced the Cane Toad, a species indigenous to South America, to their isolated continent to eat agricultural pests. This famously proved to be a complete disaster with the toxic toads running rampant and native species poisoning themselves when they tried to make snacks of the delicious, dimwitted amphibians.
Now a team of Australian researchers from the University of Sydney think they may have found an elegant solution that absolutely, positively, cannot backfire into a 1970 C minus horror movie: Meat Ants. The gentle meat ant lives underground, often in super colonies that stretch out for over 600 meters or 0.4 miles, and emerge during the day to skeletanize cow carcasses and anything else that doesn’t get the hell out of their way.
Sshhh… Sshhhh… I just want to get to know you…
In a series of experiments, the Aussies determined that Cane Toads could not flee as quickly from Meat Ants as most native species, were not as weary of Meat Ants in general, and hung out in places that Meat Ants frequented like creepy abandoned lakeside cabins where they meant to fornicate with other teen toads.
The paper, published in the most recent edition of Functional Ecology, goes onto suggest that billions of Meat Ants should be bred in unused tunnels, such as the old subway and sewer systems of Australia’s largest cities. Eventually, the ants will of course decide to eat Cane Toads. No, but honestly, “Meat Ants”!!! No, but really honestly, one of the researchers explained that “the next step is to work out whether we can manipulate habitats – perhaps by using bait to bring toads and ants together more frequently – to increase the kill rate.” Luckily for all, researchers have already determined that both Cane Toads and Meat Ants love eating kitten.