Ants in the Office

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ants.jpg
This morning, I found a tiny ant crawling across my foot as I sat at my desk. When I went to put him back into the wild outdoors where all ants belong, I discovered his brethren carrying a dead beetle out of my house. It was like a military strike.

While dozens of scouts and support troops scurried around helping and searching, a small platoon had the beetle by its legs and was booking it across the carpet and then down the ethernet cable we have draped across the threshold. In five minutes, the beetle was hauled from beneath the heater, trucked across the veranda and slid under the palm.

In less than ten minutes every ant was out of the house. Their efficiency was extremely impressive. Do you think ants work with the same ants every day? Or do they get assigned to the tasks at random? Do ants get assignments??

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I've read that scientist believe that ants are basically one symbiotic being that is made up of many parts acting as a whole. Sure, there are various roles within a colony (warrior, builder, breeder, nurse, etc.) but they use pheremones and their antennae to send signals to each other to act in unison. It's really weird stuff to think about, especially when you consider there is more biomass in ants than practically in any other animal in the world. There are many books on this topic, but one fun read is Stephen Johnson's "Emergence." I'll bring it to the next blogger pub crawl if you're interested.

I wonder if they can be trained to clean my apartment too??

How ant's get their food and how it's like blogging: http://www.microcontentnews.com/entries/20021220-2589.htm

So organized! Your rug looks like cottage cheese in that enormous scale.

my father in law says that it goes like this with every ten ants: 4 work. 4 manage the workers. and 2 stand around. not sure how he knows this, but hes certain people are the same way. hes always asking me which category i am in.

i know this - ants are known to carry away and burry their dead.

YOu are bigger than the ants, I bet you could have taken the beetle away, and the tasty morsel all to yourself. YOu didn't though, you let the ants keep their hard earned prize. You are such a benevolent god!

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