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Soldier Ants of the Tropical Rainforest

Ants, the soldiers of the forest, are the backbone of the Amazonian jungle outside of the Shuar community of Tink. They act as a bridge between the canopy and the forest floor because they climb the tree trunks to gather leaves, which they then transport to the forest floor for food. In the process, they allow the tree to continuously regenerate new leaves and build up the fertilizer layer on the forest floor. This symbiotic relationship is one of the many that make the Ecuadorian rain forest so rich in biodiversity.

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Taken on February 9, 2012