The research is done by a team of scientists from North Carolina State University.
The findings are published in journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B
“We wanted to learn more about why some ant species are able to live alongside us, on sidewalks or in buildings, while other species stay on the outskirts of human development, this could also help us determine which species are doing the most to clean up our trash,” said lead author Clint Penick.
Food consists of carbon and the different types of carbon is found in the food and this carbon type will tell the diet or the food ingested by the animal or human
Carbon-13 one such example of carbon type found in the grasses like the corn and sugarcane.
Americans food is mostly on sugarcane and corn so if the ant is eating human food then it must also contain high levels of carbon-13.
The researches have studied 100 ant samples from 21 different species. These samples were taken from 21 different streets and parks in New York.
Isotope content of ant body will help examining the diet of the ant.
The researchers found high level of carbon -13 in ants which live on the payments suggesting the intake of human food and the ants collected from the park has less level of carbon-13.
Penick said, “Human foods clearly make up a significant portion of the diet in urban species, these are the ants eating our garbage, and this may explain why pavement ants are able to achieve such large populations in cities.”
The ant species Lasius cf. emarginatus didn’t look like eating human food and they get their food from the trees of the street.