“Ant death spiral”

Wow… I always thought of bugs as little more than self-reproducing low-level biological robots, but I didn’t realize they had bugs of their own. 😉

If this happened in practically any other species, the entire group affected by it (and the genes responsible for it) would essentially cease to exist, because once locked into it they would never breed. In ants, it makes some sense though. A few hundred or even a few thousand workers lost in a screwup like this won’t affect the viability of the queen in a really large nest, so long as it doesn’t happen too often. And if it doesn’t affect the queen, the only source of genetic material in the group, then evolution won’t weed it out.

An interesting glitch in nature.