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Leaf-cutter ants live inside underground nests. These nests are very big. A mature nest has something like five million workers. It’s a nest more than five meters wide, 3-4 meters deep, with hundreds of chambers the size of a soccer ball. Inside some of the chambers they keep the fungi, and they also have chambers where they put their garbage. It is very well organized in the sense that the garbage chambers tend to be below the fungi chambers, so there is no contamination. So they are very clean in this sense...

The workers leave the nest to gather leaves. In the primary forest, this means that a worker sometimes needs to travel as far as 100 meters from the nest and then climb up to the forest canopy, which is 30 or 35 meters above. And then they cut a small piece of leaf that weighs sometimes two times more than the ant’s own weight—that’s like you carrying two people on your back! And then they climb back down and 100 meters back. So probably during one night they are able to do one or two trips at maximum... which is a very tough job.

Heraldo’s Journals Leaf Cutter Ants  1   2   3   4