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Rainforests of the World 

November 29, 2010

Farming ants and flying snakes, oh my!

Here at the California Academy of Sciences, we are lucky to be able to work with some pretty fascinating species. Recently there were two interesting news articles about some of these species.

Photo by: Rachael Tom

The first article looks at how leaf-cutter ants coevolved with the fungus that they farm, and it turns out they utilize a bacteria as a pesticide to keep their crop intact. The researcher says leaf-cutter ants have been farming for 50 million years! Looks like they got just a little head-start on humans. Read the article HERE.

Photo by: Rachael Tom

The other article looks at the snakes of Southeast Asia that have evolved the ability to glide in the canopy. One of the species they looked at is the paradise flying snake Chrysopelea paradisi , which you can find right here in the Borneo level in the rainforest at the Academy (see photo above). They have some pretty neat video. Read the article HERE.

Here’s a video of some of their research. I thought it was interesting how much of the snake hangs off the branch before it launches itself into the air.

Filed under: Herpetiles,Insects & Arachnids — rainforest1 @ 3:50 pm

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The Rainforest Team


Academy biologists share the inside scoop on the Academy's 'Rainforest of the World' exhibit.

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