Folks have been warned to remain alert due to an uncommonly high number of seagulls “tripping on acid” after consuming flying ants.
Specialists say the hot weather this week has caused a widespread egress of the ants, which seagulls love to eat in spite of it affecting their cognitive behavior. The Society of Biology’s own Dr. Rebecca Nesbit notes the insects carry formic acid, which can cause the birds to seem “inebriated” and forfeit their inhibitions after digesting them.“The gulls are mad for them,” RSPB’s Tony Whitehead spoke in a statement. “There has been a massive emergence of the ants over the last three days and they are like little treats for the gulls. They are like M&Ms to them. They go wherever they are.”
The effects of the crawlers are said to make seagulls fly into moving cars, and buildings too. one Exeter motorist told reporters: “I have seen the crushed bodies of around half a dozen gulls on main roads around the city. Normally they fly off before getting anywhere near a vehicle, but they just seem to be getting mown down.” At one specific point in the year as a result of their queen’s “nuptial flight,” flying ants are drawn out of concealment in vast numbers.
The circumstances for this ritual of mating must include no chance of rain and high temperatures, making the current weather ideal for the ant queen to depart her nest to look for a mate. The colony’s matriarch takes flight to locate an appropriate site far away from her abode to prevent in-breeding, then discharges pheromones to draw hordes of male ants. The abrupt appearance of these drones in huge numbers offers a sizeable snack for famished seagulls. The natural event can last up to fourteen days at a time.
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