close-up of a reddish brown ant with long antennae against a white background

These queens lived 500 percent longer than workers. Now we know why.

How far would you go to extend your life by 500%? An ant species engages in brutal colony-wide brawls to replace recently deceased queens – and the victors not only take the throne, but greatly extend their lifespans.

After the death of the queen, Indian jumping ants (Harpegnathos Jumper) compete to see which worker will take the queen’s place. Winning the laurels doesn’t just mean laying eggs – it also means living 500% longer than the average worker. Now, scientists may have identified how a replacement queen bee slows down aging.

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