Monday, April 17, 2017

a monday matinee...


76,86,55, .04",B

12 comments:

John Wells said...

While out for my early morning walk the other day I found some very busy ants crossing the road. These Texas leaf cutting ants (not to be confused with harvester ants who only collect seeds) are collecting plant material for fungus gardens deep within their nest - and these kinds of ants have been doing this for millions of years. Next to humans, leaf cutter ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on Earth and a single colony can grow to over 2 million individuals. They can carry over 5,000 times their body weight. I followed their trail and they were busy working a route that extended about 50' from their nest. The majority of their harvest appears to be coming from an ephedra plant. News Theme and Digya by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Road said...

That's exciting to watch, actually.

Ronald Mahan said...

Those super ants are really strong. If humans were as strong - a 200 pound man could carry one million pounds - held by his jaws. Good thing their brains are not as highly developed - or we would hauling their food for them!

John Wells said...

Although technically known as leaf cutters, they collect a variety of plant material depending on what is available. I admire how efficiently the colony works. No one is sitting around demanding anything - they all have a job to do and they do it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leafcutter_ant
I found it particularly interesting that they were harvesting material from an ephedra plant (meth lab?). https://erowid.org/archive/rhodium/chemistry/ephedra.html

gsc1039 said...

It's hard to believe that there could be room below for all the material they are carrying into the nest. Great video quality, by the way!

John Wells said...

I wish I could put a gopro on an ant to see what's going on down there...

John Wells said...

Great!....now I'm curious. Just ordered this. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B1FN44Q/

Margery Bills said...

Certainly you are not alone out there are you John. Good pictures. :-)

bob r said...

maybe a selfie colonoscopy in the future????

Sam Finn said...

John, glad to say you do a very good job policing your site.

John Wells said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_endoscopy

Todd said...

This post struck me as the leaf cutter ants being a metaphor for the North Koreans. They are going out gathering up ephedra and taking it deep underground to ferment into ant amphetamines. This is very similar to the behavior of North Koreans presently. Always marching in rows, laser focused on group goals, working underground converting ephedrine into meth for both domestic use and export. Designing nukes all spun out on meth. If you want to understand the Norks, study these leafcutter ants. The Pentagon is presently working on a plan to destroy the large leaf cutter ant piles that have formed on the Northern half of the Korean Peninsula.