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Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



That's fascinating. Sounds like the ants are better at disposing of garbage than people even if they're quite happy to accept the 'magically disappears' thing on a pragmatic level.

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Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Glutes Are Great posted:

You might have noticed, we started sort of in the middle of this process with a nest and male/female distinction and caste already existing, that is because the very beginning, the first ants to evolve into cooperating in the first place, is entirely unknown. It seems likely that, as we know from various termite species, they simply gathered by coincidence and formed nests, but stayed sexually active until a much later form, where the nest is basically just a form of extreme cooperation, but they share no real relation or care for each other. From this point on, these cooperating ants probably did a better job at reproducing, until solitary ant ancestors were extinct and they could go down this path even further.

I liked E.O. Wilson's take on eusociality both cause it touched on what you mentioned about ancestor species having preadaptions or groundwork already laid for the species to become eusocial under the right environmental/evolutionary pressures.

That and the idea that nests are the most vital element in a species becoming eusocial since it then takes a relatively small change to ensure that the offspring produced don't disperse and instead remain with the nest to build up the sort of environment where eusociality is heavily selected for. Think this particularly makes sense with termites where they don't have the haplodiploidy thing going that scientists used to assume was necessary for eusociality to evolve.

He'd also include humans as a eusocial species and wrote that the human 'nest' was the campfire.

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Glutes Are Great posted:

Goddamn, the ants are already up and running! In the fridge! Had to refresh water and food today, they're just restless. Gonna take them out of winter sleep soon, there's no sense in keeping them in the cold when they're already awake and fighting my hand.

I'm excited, this year's ant adventures are about to start!

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Raenir Salazar posted:

Some better pictures after moving the cable to clear the condensation.





I have two other Pennsylvaticus colonies but I think the queen died over the winter. The brood haven't developed I think but the workers are more or less active and foraging. Or the queens are stuck hibernating I don't know.

I'm debating removing the brood and giving them to the Penn. sp. pictured above to brood boost them.

I like these fancier setups because I think it's just a lot easier now to maintain them and I can more easily move them around. Expansion is a little trickier because I don't think they go back to back, only side to side but that isn't too big of an issue, the larger issue is removing the outworld portion so I can try stacking them on top of each other.

these ladies look rad

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



seems like a way to put it might be that a hive mind is a process (or combination of many simple processes) rather than 'an intelligence' as we'd understand it?

one way i've heard it described is that it's kinda like a computer, individual bits or switches or circuits don't make the decisions it's the combined result of very simple rules being applied that can give the appearance of something like a mind? (i know this analogy has it's own problems but possibly a good way of thinking of it vs human style governments?)

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Glutes Are Great posted:

I'd play the poo poo out of that

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



glad to hear there was a solution

ants: they're for everybody!

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Sharks Eat Bear posted:

So what's the deal with crazy ants in the US? I just read this article from 2013, which casts the introduction of crazy ants to the US as an impending catastrophe. I'm wondering how much that's been borne out 8 years later, and also just curious about what we know & don't about these ants. Drawn to electricity???

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/magazine/crazy-ants.html

I can post the full text if the paywall is an issue

aren't these the ones that keep fire ants in check?

think they actually use their own venom to effectively neutralize that of the fire ants

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Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019




From what I've read that pressure cooker situation of "warring" ant species is why they developed their behaviour of treating fire ant venom too, they're one of the few ant species that seem to be able to deal with them well because they grew up in the same places and crazy ants evolved strategies to thrive despite them.



That's interesting. I'd wondered if it was to do with heat control of the nest - like darker stones will trap heat and keep it warmer, light reflective stuff will stop it heating up as much. Seen ants here do that to regulate the temp of their anthills/nests.

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