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Ant Species Named After Game Of Thrones Dragons

Scientists usually use unwieldy Latin words when naming new species, but this time they called the two new species Drogon and Viserion.

Those are two of Targaryan's intimidating dragons in the hit Sky TV show.

The scientists decided to look to the dragons of the fantasy drama because of the spiky exterior of the newly discovered insect types.

The spines - located close to the head - are likely to be there for defence.

Scientists have also suggested they could also contain muscles which give extra strength to their mandibles, which are used for crushing things.

Taxonomy - identifying, documenting and naming new species - is usually done using photographs and drawings.

But this time the ants' spiny exteriors were captured in stunning details using 3D-imaging technology.

Evan Economo from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology said: "This is one of the first studies in ant taxonomy to use micro-CT.

"While this method is gaining popularity in different scientific fields, it is rare to use it in this way.

"It's almost the same, if not better than the real thing. Because you can virtually dissect the specimen and examine the internal structure on your computer."

It means scientists around the world can study the ants without travelling to the tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea, where the ants are found.





© Sky News, 2016