As a life-long insectophobe, I am always especially attentive to news involving insects. This is why I was terrified and traumatized to discover that gigantic winged ants of the size of hummingbirds existed on our planet 50 million years ago:
A winged ant queen fossilized in 49.5-million-year-old Wyoming rock ranks as the first body of a giant ant from the Western Hemisphere, says paleoentomologist Bruce Archibald of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.The new species, Titanomyrma lubei, is related to giant ants previously found in German fossils. These long-distance relatives bolster the notion that the climate of the time had hot blips that allowed warmth-loving giant insects to spread from continent to continent, Archibald and a U.S.-Canada team propose online May 4 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. An ancient ant wing from Tennessee had hinted that big ants lived in North America during this time, says Torsten Wappler of the University of Bonn in Germany.
Ants are extremely strong and especially well-organized. In my opinion, only their small size prevented these nasty creatures from taking over the planet. It's good news that they didn't grow any bigger than this!