Clint Penick

How Ants Become Warrior Queens

When the queens of an Indian jumping ant colony die, females square off to crown the next great leaders. But it’s not just a ceremonial designation. The victors experience a surge in the hormone dopamine, causing their brains to shrink and ovaries to enlarge—changes that may benefit their new roles as the colony’s sole reproducers, researchers report in the May issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology.

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