Architecture of the Superorganism: “Ants! Nature’s Secret Power”

Posted: April 25th, 2011 in life science, nature
Tags: , , , ,


Uploaded by on Dec 24, 2010

From: Ants! Natures Secret Power

A giant ant colony is pumped full of concrete, then excavated to reveal the complexity of its inner structure.

Be amazed as was I at the complexity of the design of this city under the ground. The architecture is a study in perfection, in efficiency, in purpose, in all that is right and good. Oh, the wonders of nature! Millions of ants, all acting ‘as one,’ in a collective hive-mind, move literally tons of dirt and create for themselves a city, a city that has literally all they need to live. It reminds me, in a way, of the old designs for self-sufficient space platforms proposed for people in the path to colonize space.

I’m glad I caught this. Quite a refreshing change of pace from the usual horrors that fill my news line.

It is said that humans couldn’t do this. I disagree. But at the same time I’m not in favor of hive-mind behavior, at least in our species. For insects, sure. It’s all well and good to all work together to achieve something so great, however, grateful I am for the individual genius of the human mind.

For your further enjoyment, here is the full length film…

Uploaded by on Dec 24, 2010

In this documentary we will be transported into the world of ants through the eyes of Bert Hölldobler, a world authority on these amazing animals.

What animal has achieved immortality? What animal is the most warlike? What animal has the greatest supercity on the planet? Not man but ants. They are the real success story. It is only their tiny size and our vanity that allows us to hold onto the myth of our supremacy. Ants rule the planet. They are found in more habitats from far northern Finland to the sweltering tropics.
The largest colony known of these insects is in Japan, where 306 million ants, with 1 million queens, in 45,000 colonies spread over 270 hectares.
The fiercest warriors on earth are the slave maker ants. Other ants have barracks and sentry posts to protect themselves against surprise attack.

Bert Hölldobler, friend of world renowned scientist Edward Wilson, is a world authority on these amazing animals. He has dedicated his life, traveling around the world, to understand them. Through his eyes and his words we will be transported into the world of the ants. A world more wonderful and bizarre than any science fiction. “Ants” will reveal this alien world for the first time, in the company of a true authority and enthusiast.

Winner of: International Wildlife Film Festival Missoula (USA): “Best TV-Program” and “Best Educational Value” & NaturVision 2005: Best International Contribution / Best Camera

For those even further involved in learning more, there is a discussion going on, with a few points of light scattered about…

Here’s an interesting, informative post from the thread at ATS called Awe Inspiring Giant Ant Hill Excavated.

shado101 posted on 4/25/2011 @ 09:4

I actually breed and collect different ant colonies, sounds slightly odd but we all have the odd hobby and interest here and there.
I would just like to point out that the type of ant in this video is fairly notorious for having some of the most complex ant nests. This is largely in part due to this species diet, which is the fungus cultivated using mushed up leaves and other organic matter (on the most part vegetation of some sort). The fungus, some strains of which is only found in ant nests, requires the utmost regulation. The temperature, humidity and ventilation needs to be just right.

Most other ant species create nests way below the complexity of the ones shown in the video. Don’t get me wrong they still show an astounding understanding of their environment.

An anecdote from my own ant breeding is when I moved the tank of one of my ant colonies on the window sill of my room. The sun would now hit the side of the tank facing the window. It was then I noticed that the ants were busy excavating new tunnels, and it was one week later that I saw a new chamber on the side of the tank facing the window. The ants had moved all their larvae and eggs into this chamber, my understanding is that heat speeds up the development of their larvae. To me this showed that ants have an incredible understanding of their environment, and will constantly adjust themselves to maximize their utility.



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