By: David Mizejewski
Long time readers know that I'm a naturalist National Wildlife Federation, one of Animal Planet's R.O.A.R. partners, and I sometimes highlight NWF's work in my Animal Oddities posts. In this post I want to give a shout out to a fellow conservation organizations, Rare. Rare looks for proven conservation solutions and trains local leaders to inspire communities to adopt them and make them their own through its signature Pride campaigns. They are pretty awesome.
And it just so happens that a lot of the species Rare works to protect through these campaigns are pretty odd. Here are two of the most unusual species they work with:
Leaf Cutter Ant
The Leaf Cutter ant is considered a delicacy in parts of South America. During its reproductive season the Leaf Cutter ant’s abdomen swells and it flies around in a sexual flurry only to be caught and grilled by the local people. An average nest of leafcutter ants contains over 5 million ants. They are also known as 'parasol' ants because of the way they carry leaves above their heads. The ants can carry over 50 times their own body weight.
Here's Jeff Corwin exploring these awesome ants.