Humans aren’t the Only Ones Who Build Fences

It’s probably the only picket fence in the Amazon, but scientists have no idea what made it or what its purpose might be.

Georgia Tech doctoral student Troy Alexander stumbled upon these two-centimeter-long white structures growing on trees in Peru on June 7.

Since then, the intricate handiwork has baffled scientists. Although most agree it was likely built by an insect, no one can identify the species that built it, or what the fence might be protecting.

“I thought anything this distinctive would have been discovered already,” Alexander said.

“I’ve talked to researchers worldwide and haven’t found an answer, so I don’t feel crazy saying that I’ve found a new species, or at the very least, a new behavior,” he said.

“What Is That?”

Alexander made the discovery when he was volunteering at the Tambopata Research Center as part of the Tambopata Macaw Project. He noticed something unusual on one of the blue tarps the group was working under for shade. (Read more about a new species of decoy spider that was discovered at Tambopata.)

“I looked up and thought, ‘What is that?’” Alexander said. “At the time, I thought a Urodid mothhad started building a cocoon and then just got distracted and didn’t finish or got eaten.

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