LIVING

NYC Ants Have Adopted A Diet Of Junk Food

04/02/2015 04:57 EDT | Updated 04/02/2015 04:59 EDT

Researchers at the University of North Carolina State have been busy analyzing the diets of 20 ant species across Manhattan and it turns out, like humans, ants are fans of fatty fast food.

But it's not actually the fat that's attracting the insects. Live Science says the ants are addicted to corn and sugar cane, which alter the bug's chemical signature.

Small and mighty, ants have a big effect on the environment, acting as both decomposers and predators. But despite causing the same end result, not all ants are eating alike. According to the report published in The Royal Society Proceedings B Journal, the urban ants who live on traffic islands contain the highest levels of carbon isotopes, since they have the best access to food waste.

And it's a good thing they already like the local cuisine, because the tiny insects are being touted New York's newest cleaning crew. In late 2014, CBS reported the bugs could consume three to four grams of food in the span of 24 hours, a whopping three times more than the amount of food waste found in the city's parks.

Also on HuffPost

What Is The Most Addictive Junk Food?