Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Goons Are Great posted:

Unless if you're Australian, in which case your native ants are most likely aliens from another world, because holy drat what you Aussies got down there is beyond imagination.

I don't know exactly what sorts of ants you have over there, but the two that come to mind here are hopper ants and inch ants.

Hopper ants aren't content to try and crawl onto your shoes and up your leg. They will climb to the top of stalks of grass and lie in wait, then leap up onto your knees and start stinging away. The venom isn't actually that bad, except that it tends to provoke a strong immune response that can scale all the way up to anaphylaxis and death in sensitive individuals.

Inch ants are named that because they are bloody massive. Particularly venomous for an ant, though still only really comparable to a bee sting. Unlike hopper ants they often like to try to maul things with their bigass mandibles rather than necessarily try to sting, which in my opinion makes them somewhat preferable.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Is there a greater biomass of ants or beetles in the world?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



How do monogynious colonies go about founding new colonies? Does the newborn queen lay her own escort, or does she take a tithe of her mother's workers?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



In nests constructed for observation are there frequencies that they can't see that you can use to illuminate and watch them without them freaking out? Or do you just tend to look for brief periods before closing over the glass again?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Will a young queen ever move into an old abandoned nest as being a convenient already-dug-out location?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Goons Are Great posted:


edit: Oh, another important reason might be anti-air defenses! Especially ants that carry around big things, like leafcutter ants or baker ants that collect seeds, are obviously very visible from above, which can turn them into easy prey for birds, wasps and other predators, as the carrying ant is more or less defenseless and busy carrying the thing. In order to defend themselves from those attackers, those species have developed specialized anti-air warfare, where sharpshooter ants climb on top of each other, on top of the objects carrying and even build moving ant towers like cheerleaders, where the ants on top spray venom and acid to flying attackers. This is so effective that usually bigger predators, like hornets or even birds, leave those ants be, as the amount of venom they spray and their accuracy is super annoying for them. Smaller insects, like wasps, can easily get killed by those defenses and then just end up being carried home themselves.

So what you're telling me is that Starship Troopers was 100% accurate.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



How long is the longest ants will usually be away from the nest for when exploring/foraging?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Raenir Salazar posted:

This reminds me how we cultivated spicy foods for eating despite the fact that the spiceness was an evolutionary adaptation meant to protect these plants from predators!

And now huge numbers of these plants are growing all over the world. It worked!

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



The way I visualise it is that each individual ant is a transistor, knowing only the state of its neighbours and possessing zero decision-making capability. But put enough transistors together and you can run complex decision-making algorithms on them. Zoom in and everything looks random and confusing (and it is). Zoom out and behaviour starts making intuitive sense to us.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I was in limestone country the other day, and was looking at an anthill directly above a cave. Most of the anthill was regular spoil, but around each entrance was a pinch of bright white sand. Were the ants actually chewing through the limestone to expand their hill?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply