Co-evolution between Leaf-Cutter Ants and Fungus

The leaf-cutter ants and the fungus have an everlasting mutual relationship that is traced back to over 50 million years. This has many scientists curious. Co-Evolution is the simultaneous evolution of multiple living things, and how they work with each other to survive. This is shown when the ants cultivates the food for  the fungus, and in return the fungus give them food.  

This process starts when the leaf-cutter ants collect their leaves. They process those leaves into a pulp, which they give to the fungus, which turns that pulp into food for the ants. In return the fungus gets antibiotics that keeps it safe. Those antibiotics come from a bacteria that was on the ants. It has the same stuff that is used in modern medicine today. It gives protection to the ants and after the process also to the fungus.

This has many scientists wondering it’s accuracy. Cameron Currie, compared human-made farms to the Acromyrmex and Atta ants.  Cameron had a hunch about this, so he collected nests to analyze. His hunch being correct, he found Escovopsis in the ant farms. He found out that the pests were deadly, after removing the ants. He noticed a white coating on the ants, after analyzing them from a microscope, and later discovered that that coating has bacteria that can be found in many of our antibiotics today. He later concluded that this kept the ants safe from the pests.

The Co-evolution between the leaf-cutter ants and the fungus, as well as their advances are amazing. The leaf-cutter ants have said to be using this special coating for over millions of years, whereas humans have started using this medicine just recently. They use it to survive in getting food, and medicine. Despite facing many pests, they are successful in marking their food.