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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


I cannot wait to see more about this thread, as ants are cool. I have a conflicted relationship though as my only interaction with them in real life is the war: my mom vs the ants in her kitchen. She sets up a poison dish next to the sink every summer when they pop up and I wish we had a way to make them just... leave. We might be messy but not THAT messy

Also: while I like watching AntsCanada on youtube, it has been weird watching his videos go from a dude with a camera and a lot of ants to a voiceover using the same format with hyper-clickbait everything. Just show me your ants without all those cuts and weird experiments, dude.

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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


We haven't had any ants in the kitchen so far this year, if/when they pop up I'll pay closer attention to what my mom does and pass along your information.

Happily I see big black ants back out on the porch - just one or two scouting - and it's like "hi guy, go back outside" and it's nice to know that they're busy in our yard doing their part.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


There are two ant games that I know of: SimAnt and Empires of the Undergrowth. I haven't played it yet but it has a demo.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


The Mighty Moltres posted:

These are spiders of the genus Myrmarachne which mimic ants.

the FEAR that rocketed through me when I realized they weren't ants

god I can handle ants just fine but stick an extra pair of legs on and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa

e: https://antwiki.org/wiki/Ant-Mimicking_Spiders

I'm fascinated by these things but there's terror running through my body just looking. Why is fear like this? Ugh.

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 01:36 on Jul 10, 2020

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


God that entire post is informative and super cool.

Two* questions:

1) How did this evolve? It's so complex and it seems to be done entirely on instinct?

1a) How old are ants as a species?

2) Got any videos of soldier ants in action? That picture owns.

e: Answer to #2 youtube serving up giant ants:

https://youtu.be/o3p9-jc7GDA

e2: holy poo poo this is cool:

https://youtu.be/xZlURu1HmEU

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 11:07 on Jul 14, 2020

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Goons Are Great posted:

You may noticed that I avoided the term instinct entirely here, that's because it originated in the so called Instinct Theory, that basically says that certain behavior are not learned but you are born with and it led to believing that all animals that aren't humans are entirely relying on this instead. This theory is largely debunked by now and outside of popular science publications you usually do not meet the term instinct very often anymore, or at least re-developed to reflect the changes the term has gone through over time. Basically, saying that behavior X is an instinct is nothing but a simplification of an incredibly complex process of genetic basics, anatomical facts and the ability of an individual life form to learn, which doesn't solve the problem or question at hand, but kicks it down the road into a hard to define term. Obviously, everything I just said is controversial in biology.

This entire post is insanely cool but this is the most eye-opening for me, as I tend to read a lot of werewolf fiction (love me my urban fantasy) and the terms inner beast and beastial instincts and stuff come up a lot and HMMM it reminds of the sentient/sapient divide in science fiction vs actual science. I'm looking forward to the science getting better so the controversy will hopefully die down.

Regarding the ant information I feel like I'm reading Beak of the Finch again but with ants and it's so cool. Game of Thrones ants evolving into a stable queendom (so to speak) so the assassin/paraside stuff pops into play and it's a neverending drama with these guys. I love it.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


ninjewtsu posted:

also years back i watched a wonderful documentary following a colony of driver ants through one transport nest -> build nest -> eat everything -> transport nest cycle, got me very hooked on Cool Ant Facts. do you have any good ant documentary recommendations?

Seconding these questions but especially this one I'm trawling youtube for documentaries now. That said ninjewtsu if you can find this documentary again I want to watch it!

e: watching Empire of the Ants now because there's roughly an hour between now and the new Harvest Moon game dropping and what do you know that's the perfect length of time for ant facts

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 15:13 on Jul 14, 2020

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Your secret agenda of getting me to visit BYOB more often is working, drat you!

Also!! I just remembered to ask: have you read the sci-fi book Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky? It's about humans making a virus that will make a species become more humanlike/smarter/able to communicate, and then screwing up while deploying it so it hits spiders instead of apes, and then it follows the extremely long-view of spiders going from primitive to something more. While it's mostly spider-centric, ants show up in some huge and (afaik) accurate ways and I think you'd enjoy reading it!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Goons Are Great posted:

As this is not easily possible for ant keepers to offer, mite infestations for kept ants are extremely dangerous and a big reason why pet ant colonies die out, depending on what mites are caught. That's why most ant keepers, me included, do not regularly offer live food to them, but kill them first and boil them on water to kill any parasites that might live on a feeder insect.

oh man I don't want to keep bringing antscanada up, but he doesn't do this. He just plops pre-scissored cockroaches and such in there and

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


ninjewtsu posted:

here you go bud https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwEubzr7sCs


this poo poo is hardcore as hell and i love it. don't mean to be monopolizing the ant questions but i want to know so much more!

iirc i once heard/read that there's tons of ants living under the ocean (underwater? or merely subterranean beneath the seabed?), potentially more than exist on land. i can't find anything backing this up on google so maybe it doesn't exist and i'm full of poo poo, but in any case do ants have any interesting interactions with large bodies of water? i know there's the famous antrafts but is that all there is to it, or is there more to ants and water than that?

also, what are the major ant predators and what are ants' defense mechanisms against these? seems like ant colony growth is generally more limited by access to food than any real predators (and the vulnerable period when a new nest is forming), though there's obviously parasites and whatever the hell anteaters are too.

Hell yeah thank you for the documentary, I'll dig into it tomorrow.

Also please keep asking questions, you ask good questions that antmod expands into really cool posts.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Holy cow, I didn't think I'd see an ant swim today. How the hell do they do that? I've been taught/seen all my life that you need broad surfaces to stroke water with, and ants have just spindly little legs. I know they're tiny so that probably works, but also like, how?!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Why don't ants ever hold still? Unless they're feeding or checking on something they're always in motion. Why?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Goons Are Great posted:

The largest and oldest supercolony we know of is from the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile. This colony is an estimated 400 years old and spreads from Galicia in northern Spain to Venice in Italy in Europe across an almost uninterrupted area of around 6000 kilometers, although in 2011 it was discovered that this specific supercolony is actually a part of a global megacolony spreading (with gaps in between) from California to Texas, Mississipi to Florida, scattered across a few islands in the Atlantic to Europe across said European supercolony to Italy, then with a huge gap from Iran, across Afghanistan and Pakistan to northern China and then ending up in Japan.
Originally from Argentina, this ant was brought to Europe and North America by ship and then made its way through Asia over the past few hundred years. It's the largest and probably oldest society of animals living together apart from human settlements and is made up of many billions of ants and hundreds of millions of queen, although any and all numbers regarding this colony are nothing but a wild guess and it's impossible to count.

God this is so cool. The only thing things I know of that have this same kind of mega-colony thing going on are mushrooms/fungi and even then I only know generalities. Can you tell me more about this super/megacolony?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA




what the gently caress that's so cool

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Making myself dizzy as I bent over and stared at ants in my back yard was worth it, they're so industrious and cool to look at. Also I'm back from town with two books: "Journey to the Ants" and "The Earth Dwellers: Adventures in the Land of Ants", thank you local library.

Questions:

- How do you ID ants? I live in New York, USA and the ones in my back yard are numerous (SO many little dirt mounds around my yard), are black, and tiny. Now that I'm looking for the mounds they are EVERYWHERE.
- What happens to an ant nest if you step on the mound? I assume they just go "ah this entrance has been collapsed" and use another?
- no question just aaa they're so tiny in real life, pictures make them look big

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Goons Are Great posted:

They love that! They won't hunt down humans or birds or whatever, because the cost-benefit calculation is off, but if it's dead already, well then there's dinner to enjoy! Ants will gladly eat dead mice, birds, even dogs and probably even dead humans. They cannot keep up with more specialized carrion eaters of course, but they gladly just use that for their benefit. Vultures for example love to tear apart the carrion, which opens the meat up for consumption for the ants. Inner organs, collapsed blood vessels, everything that is remotely fresh, juicy and muscular will be cut away and carried home if possible, or consumed on location as much as possible, leaving just the skin, bones and hair behind.
Here's a video by AntsCanada (yeah I know...) where he offers his fire ants a dead mouse and he got some pretty sweet shots of how they go on to consume it inside out.
Dead rodent in here, also it's quite to nasty to see if you're not used to ants, so be aware before you want to watch ants tearing apart a dead mouse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0civp9egQQ#t=298s
I timestamped it so you can avoid the endlessly annoying blahblah and needless effects he stuffs into those videos, making them unwatchable. The shots are great though and you can really see the progress over time.

If I can say one good thing about AntsCanada it's that he has a really nice camera and is good at using it.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Goons Are Great posted:

Definitely. I just wish he wouldn't put 12 minutes of uninteresting and repeating words with dumb effects into 15 minutes of videos and sticks to the interesting stuff. I wouldn't even mind the insane clickbait he always does if he would just do those really good ant shots and detailed stories about what they do.

agreed agreed agreed. His videos improve a lot if you mute them, and I wish he would take longer, lingering shots instead of cutting so often. But hell, it's good footage and this mouse thing is fascinating.

As for actual content: I sit on my porch a lot these days since the weather is nicer and I think my outside steps are in the path of an ant scout because I see him (him? her? ant genders how do they work) trooping across every few days. Fortunately he stays outside, as there's no food in here for him.

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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Found out that my lawn ants are making a nest in the cracked concrete out by the garden and got on my knees to stare at them for a while and it was awesome, I watched them carefully haul out more grains of "sand" or dirt or whatever and make their mounds and then I decided to go for it, and lo! Actually kinda decent pictures with my phone!





I live in upstate NY, have no idea what these guys are, but they're super industrious and I try not to step on them.

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