Skip

(Please be) dead ant
December 14, 2012 5:06 PM   Subscribe

This ant was as large as a hummingbird.
posted by curious nu (32 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
The next picture really gives some context. I saw a hummingbird in the wild a couple weeks ago, it was surprisingly small actually.

Still, big for an ant.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:15 PM on December 14, 2012


Huge ants.

Hants.
posted by The Whelk at 5:21 PM on December 14, 2012 [21 favorites]


I occasionally wonder if it's just that when things get fossilized, they somehow... expand?
So infact all the giant things there are fossils of where quite small.

Like a Brontosaurus was actually cow sized, just the fossil got inflated somehow.

(Obviously this theory is not backed up with any knowledge at all of geology, palaeontology, or science of any kind)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:23 PM on December 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


That would be a worryingly large ant. Ants are vicious enough as it is.
posted by Scientist at 5:26 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Totally. Creeped. Out.
posted by Glinn at 5:46 PM on December 14, 2012


(Obviously this theory is not backed up with any knowledge at all of geology, palaeontology, or science of any kind)

Neal Adams would be all over it.
posted by Artw at 5:48 PM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Brace your rubber tree plants.
posted by maryr at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


So they're a little bigger than Texas fire ants?
posted by cmoj at 5:53 PM on December 14, 2012


I wasn't going to comment in this thread, but a little ditty from my grade school days has been running through my head, complete with caps, and I thought I'd share...

dead ANT, dead ANT, dead ANT dead ANT dead ANT.....
posted by Malor at 6:08 PM on December 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's a good thing those paleoentomologists brought along their Metric Hummingbird of Measuringness or we'd have no idea how big that ant was.
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on December 14, 2012 [29 favorites]


As huge as the tiniest bird!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:22 PM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


that "Hidden in Plain Sight: Fairy Insect Wings" link in the article is what surprises me more, actually. Not that I wouldn't be absolutely fucking terrified of Hants.

That article says that scientists are absolutely floored by the "world of color" in fly and wasp wings. But... Now, maybe the article is too light on details, but wasn't that pretty obvious? I mean, just looking at the wings of flies you can see the reflectance or whatever the fuck it is. So I don't understand how you can work with flies all day long and somehow be utterly oblivious to it, do you not actually look at the specimen at all until you've already put it on the white background? If so, why didn't you think - hey, where'd the reflectant wings go?

The article I linked said the film's thickness must be very very thin, no larger than the wavelength of the colors reflected, which means that fly wings must be absolutely and utterly thin?
posted by symbioid at 6:24 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, sure, but how big were ancient hummingbirds?
posted by symbioid at 6:24 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great, more nightmare fodder. Ant sized hummingbirds.
posted by arcticseal at 6:38 PM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hummingbird sized ants scare me more, for some reason. Blech, they could fly anywhere.
posted by Think_Long at 6:45 PM on December 14, 2012


Hummingbird sized ants scare me more, for some reason. Blech, they could fly anywhere.

Mosquitos?
posted by jimmythefish at 6:58 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are pretty big ants around the world today.

Or you could take an ordinary ant, and stress him out.
posted by eye of newt at 7:07 PM on December 14, 2012


There are LOTS of videos of praying mantises catching and eating hummingbirds out there. I was looking for one, but, man, there are LOTS.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:09 PM on December 14, 2012


There's a band name in there somewhere...

Humming Bert & The Huge Ants?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 7:21 PM on December 14, 2012


Could be worse.
posted by vrakatar at 7:21 PM on December 14, 2012


A Meganeura could eat a big ant. (except there's a few million years difference for this example).
posted by ovvl at 7:38 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or you could take an ordinary ant, and stress him out.

Why on God's green earth would you do that? *shudders* WHAT HAVE YOU SCIENTISTS DONE?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:52 PM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


They Might Be Totally Were Gi-ants!
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 8:06 PM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


^ dammit. I wanted make the GI-ANT joke.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:46 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nope.
posted by knave at 9:08 PM on December 14, 2012


From a side-note in the article, I found this video of Dorylus wilverthi ants in Uganda which still have queens as large as hummingbirds.

Imagining whole herds (and they would be herds, not swarms) of ants that size makes my skin crawl (and no, not that way)
posted by nonspecialist at 9:09 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: 'Oh my god, this is a giant ant...'
posted by Splunge at 9:13 PM on December 14, 2012


I'll alert the fuckers eating my house that they have relatives.
posted by wallabear at 9:40 PM on December 14, 2012


And here [paywall] is the actual journal article (not linked to by LiveScience, shame on them!) and here [free but likely to linkrot] is a reprint from the author's website.
posted by Talkie Toaster at 3:25 AM on December 15, 2012


Why on God's green earth would you do that? *shudders* WHAT HAVE YOU SCIENTISTS DONE?

Providing a food supply for the giant anteaters we accidently created last week....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:37 AM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know you can still grow pretty big incects in artificial high-oxygen environments.

FUN ACTIVITY: Want to know exactly what someone's "euggh!" sound is like? Just show them this article and hit "record"! I learned that mine is more of an "elluugghh" while my man's has more of a long "a" vowel sound in it.
posted by NoraReed at 3:20 PM on December 15, 2012


"You could have walked from Vancouver to London across dry land," Archibald said.

"Cuz this is how we get ants!"
posted by porpoise at 8:58 PM on December 15, 2012


« Older Migration mapping from road kill   |   It's the Birthday Happy Birthday Song Contest Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post