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Self-Sacrificing Ant Species Explodes When In Danger To Protect Its Colony

Self-Sacrificing Ant Species Explodes When In Danger To Protect Its Colony

Biologists have discovered a new species of ant capable of tearing themselves in an "explosion" when threatened. 

Colobopsis Explodens is one of 15 new species of exploding ants recently discovered by researchers in Borneo.  When threatened by other insects the workers ants violently contract their abdominal muscles until they split, releasing a toxic goo. 

The toxin, which biologists report as smelling like curry, is produced in a gland behind the ants jaw, and when released can kill or injure other insects. When attacked the ants will also lock their jaws on opponents, so that any not killed by the toxin will be handicapped by having to carry the dead ant's body around. 

Although exploding or self-sacrificing is not unheard behavior the Colobopsis Explodens is unique in that it's confrontations often happen one-on-one, and far away from the nest.

 In addition to exploding, scientists also noted the ants large, block shaped head, which they use to physically barricade other insects from their nests.  

One researcher captured the ant's usual behavior on video. 

And people were hyped for the ant on ant grudge match. 

Though some felt cheated by the lack of an actual explosion. 

Any many others thought it cruel to pit the ants against each other in a death match. 

While they may not be the most extreme example, the exploding ants remind just how wild nature can get.