Elephants Can't Stand Ants

Jill Harness

For years, African farmers have been fighting off what just might be the world's largest pests -- elephants. The mammoth foragers have been known for breaking down fences and destroying vast quantities of produce.

Scientists believe they may now have a way to keep elephants away from the crops and the solution just might be the most simple: ants. Researchers have discovered that elephants avoid ants because the tiny insects can get inside the elephants' trunks and start biting. While the elephant's hide is remarkably thick, the lining of their trunks is incredibly soft and sensitive. As a result, elephants have been known to run at the slightest sniff of an ant.

Researchers are hoping they can save crops and prevent farmers from harming the elephants by simply adding ants (or even just ant odor) to the crops.

[Image courtesy of a.jellyfish's Flickr page.]