Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Junk Food Is Making NYC Ants More Like Humans

by Megan Gannon, News Editor | March 31, 2015 08:15pm ET

If you were in New York City recently and you saw a man sucking stuff off of the sidewalk with a weird contraption that resembled a water bong, you may have inadvertently witnessed serious biological fieldwork in action.

To study the diet of urban ants, Clint Penick, a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University, went to Broadway, aspirator in hand, to collect specimens.

"Nobody ever talked to me," Penick said. "I basically was walking around and then crouching down on the ground and huffing something off the sidewalk through this ridiculous-looking device, and not a single New Yorker was like, 'Hey, what are you doing?' I guess I was not the weirdest person on the street."

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