Ant farming of aphids appears more complex than once thought

 Recent analysis has shown that there is another species of farmed animals in the UK. The giant aphid is farmed by brown ants actively on oak trees. Not only do they milk the aphids by removing the sugary watery substance from them but they also herd them between high and low feeding areas. They even create shelters for them (barns in humans terms) from moss lichen and the exoskeletons of Beetles.

They actively look after the aphids particularly if there is some sort of interruption from an animal or bird and will carry smaller aphids to safety. They hide them underground during the winter but will march them up the tree in the summer to feed on sap.

It is clear that not only are humans late to the game when it comes to to livestock farming but that is more complex and widespread in other species than once thought.

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