From today's featured article
Nothomyrmecia, the dinosaur ant, has the most primitive body structure among all living ants. First described by the entomologist John S. Clark in 1934, the genus's rediscovery in Poochera, South Australia, in 1977 attracted scientists from around the world. It nests in old-growth mallee and Eucalyptus woodlands. A medium-sized ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops measures 9.7–11 mm (0.38–0.43 in). Mature colonies are very small, with only 50 to 100 individuals. Workers are nocturnal, solitary foragers, collecting arthropod prey and sweet substances such as honeydew. The ants rely on their vision to navigate; there is no evidence that they use chemicals to help them forage. The queen produces just one generation of ants each year, and initially joins the workers in foraging. Colder temperatures aid the ants by inhibiting their competitors and predators, and climate change poses a threat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the genus as critically endangered. (Full article...)
Did you know...
Iron coin issued by Gongsun Shu
- ... that Gongsun Shu proclaimed himself emperor of Chengjia and issued his own iron coins (example pictured), in defiance of the Han dynasty?
- ... that President Donald Trump's comment that "it's a very scary time for young men in America" inspired a viral protest song?
- ... that in 2019, the Super League XXIV will be adopting the golden point rule during the regular season?
- ... that "Dr. Birdbath", a voice actor known for mimicking the sounds of birds and other animals, was the voice of Cheetah in the Tarzan movies?
- ... that in 2018, the pay television service on channel 51 of MVS TV in Mexico City had only three subscribers?
- ... that the death of Venezuelan politician Fernando Albán Salazar led to protests in Caracas, and calls for investigations by the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner?
- ... that since the Konin Lakes became hotter, non-native species which have become established there include a flatworm, three bryozoans, three crustaceans, seven molluscs, and at least six fish?
- ... that Paul Tuttle is known for designing the "Z" chair, also known as the "Rocket Launcher"?
In the news
Christmas market in Strasbourg
On this day