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Baffling

Want to get out alive? Follow the ants - "Emergency exits work better when they are obstructed." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 23, 2014 - 42 comments

See how the ants drip like syrup?

Physicists study fire ants (SLNYT)
posted by angrycat on Dec 28, 2013 - 14 comments

There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

“They literally come in waves of just millions." Crazy ants are infecting Texas. (Single link NY Times Magazine)
posted by capnsue on Dec 10, 2013 - 128 comments

just benchin 50x my weight nbd

Giant Ants is a wall-to-wall Facebook graffiti made by two giant ants as they plan for summer, have NSFW encounters, and even answer some fan inquiries! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 24, 2013 - 7 comments

°oOOo°

Jumping spider watching you, jumping spider watching you (again), mantis eating a fly, mantis eating a fly (again), mantis watching you, mantis watching you (again), ladybird hatching, flies having sex, crane flies having sex, shepherd, WTF is that, WTF is that (again), and a really cute baby hamster. Photographs by David Jobi
posted by elgilito on Apr 20, 2013 - 40 comments

antgifs

antgifs, via projects.
posted by curious nu on Mar 12, 2013 - 19 comments

Ant Comics

Ant Comics. (nsfw for giant ant queen sex).
posted by rollick on Feb 27, 2013 - 33 comments

Tiny, Blind, Swarming, Ruthless, Regimented Sisters

This is a sausage fly. As soon as he steps foot on the trail he is overtaken by the sisterhood. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Of ants and packets

The Anternet is always up. On the surface, ants and the Internet don't seem to have much in common. But two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Aug 29, 2012 - 19 comments

Dem Bones

Time lapse video of ants consuming a gecko carcass in a few hours
posted by The Whelk on Jun 28, 2012 - 45 comments

Bowerbirds: intentional architects, and accidental farmers

Bowerbirds, a family of 20 species in eight genera, are a fascinating bunch of birds who range from New Guinea and Australia. Some are flashy, others drab, but all are named for the "bowers" (avenues, huts, or towers of sticks; source) that the males craft and decorate to attract a mate. There are regional styles (PDF) in the design of the bowers, and the male Greater Bowerbirds even employ optical illusions. Some, like the Vogelkop Bowerbird, add mimicry vocal to their repertoire of courting methods. Add accidental cultivation to the list of fascinating features of the bowerbirds. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 26, 2012 - 44 comments

Caution: Ants at Work

Amazing macro photos of ants "at work" and "at play." There are many, many more photos here. My favorite is the weightlifting ant. Ants are incredibly strong for their size, as this amazing picture of an ant holding a snail shows.
posted by desjardins on Mar 18, 2012 - 30 comments

The secret megalopolis of the ants

This video will haunt your dreams (slyt). Ten tonnes of cement were pumped into a gigantic ant colony and carefully excavated, leaving the skeleton of an alien city and a billion dead ants. (via)
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 31, 2012 - 205 comments

You Can't Drown Fire Ants!

Fire ant rafts are hard to sink - a very cool demonstration of how ants make use of surface tension.
posted by quin on Jan 15, 2012 - 55 comments

"These were the freaks of nature, the Barnum and Bailey of nature."

"Birds with teeth, snakes with fingers, and humans with apelike hair - these are ancestral traits that pop up regularly in nature," Abouheif explained. "But for the longest time in evolutionary theory, these ancestral traits were thought to go nowhere - slips in the developmental system that reveal things from the past." In other words: make way for the SUPER-SOLDIER ANTS. [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Jan 9, 2012 - 29 comments

The pain is the ad. The toxicity is the truth.

Dr. Justin O. Schmidt likes insects of the persuasive sort, the ones that bite, sting or squirt venom in your eyes. In the course of his entomological studies all over the world, he has met the defenses of about 150 different insects, and he has rated them, creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. On the low end: sweat bees, whose sting is "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." On the high end: Bullet ants, whose venomous bites cause "pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel." And it can last for hours, leaving you "quivering and still screaming from these peristaltic waves" [of pain]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2011 - 49 comments

Myrmecomorphy

Ants are one of the most abundant groups on earth, but, curiously, not a lot of things eat them. Yes, there are anteaters (who also eat a lot of termites), and some lizards specialize on ants, but the little critters are full of noxious chemicals and pheromones that put them way down on the list of predators’ preferred foodstuffs. Because of this, many other insects and arthropods have evolved to mimic ants, taking advantage of the aversion of predators to anything antlike. These mimics are called myrmecomorphs, and they’re the subject of a really nice eponymous feature in this week’s Current Biology.
[via]
posted by AceRock on May 12, 2011 - 22 comments

"Tags: creepy raft made of bugs, nature, ants"

"You've seen ants. Thousands of them. And most of the time, you've seen them in colonies, living as a group. But have you seen them float as a group? Apparently a single fire ant will struggle in water, but a cluster of them can bob happily for months. A new study has used time lapse photography to figure out why — and how — that is."
posted by ocherdraco on Apr 29, 2011 - 40 comments

Alternate title: Ants, Nature's Secret BAMFs

Ants: Nature's Secret Power [Hulu] [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Dec 14, 2010 - 13 comments

I, for one...

Ants mimic liquids
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 25, 2010 - 27 comments

Zombie Ants

Once the fungus invades its victim’s body, it’s already too late. The invader spreads through the host in a matter of days. . . . Just before dying, the infected body—a zombie—grasps a perch as the mature fungal invader erupts from the back of the zombie’s head to rain down spores on unsuspecting victims below, starting the cycle again. This isn’t the latest gross-out moment from a George A. Romero horror film; it is part of a very real evolutionary arms race between a parasitic fungus and its victims, ants. (SL Smithsonian article)
posted by bearwife on Nov 4, 2010 - 80 comments

Sexless, Striving, and Ten Billion Strong

E.O Wilson: Ants are a lot like us. Deborah Gordon: No, ants are like ants.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 24, 2010 - 35 comments

ce qui m'a permis de scanner en très haute définition ce microcosme en permanente évolution

I installed an ant colony inside my scanner five years ago.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Aug 2, 2010 - 40 comments

There's always a worse ant story.

Invasion: You think it'd be impossible to share your house with your wife, your daughter, and fifty million or so Argentine ants (previously on MetaFilter). And you would be correct [Via].
posted by infinitywaltz on Jul 27, 2010 - 106 comments

Dr. Bugs: Ecologist, Explorer, Photojournalist

Mark "Dr. Bugs" Moffett is a Harvard educated entomologist, author and ecologist. He's also one hell of a nature photographer, mainly studying Frogs and Ants (slideshow with audio). Galleries from Frank Pictures, The Smithsonian, and a slideshow and recent interview from NPR's Fresh Air.
posted by Ufez Jones on Jun 21, 2010 - 10 comments

The life of an ant colony, with a touch of poetic license

Trailhead, the life of an ant colony, as dramatized by E.O. Wilson.
posted by shivohum on Jan 27, 2010 - 15 comments

The Fungus Overlords

The Fungus Overlords
posted by Dumsnill on Jul 30, 2009 - 30 comments

I, for one...

Introducing Our New Ant Overlords. Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile) have spread to every continent aside from Antarctica, forming Supercolonies such as stretching 3,700 miles (6,000km) of the Mediterranean. Once thought to be independent of one another, scientists now have cause to believe that the disparate Supercolonies in fact make up one global Mega-Colony. They are highly invasive, attack native animals, thrive in fast-growing, high-density colonies, and have an increased capability for cooperation. "The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society," the researchers claim...
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 6, 2009 - 61 comments

Let me show you a world of bats and bees, ants and trees, morning glories and a few beached whales

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, casually referred to as Sōkendai (a contraction of Sōgō kenkyū daigakuin daigaku), was founded in 1988 as the 96th national university in Japan. Amongst other things, it is home to the Soken Taxa Web Server which in turn hosts the first online Japanese Ant Color Image Database that currently lists 273 species of ant, the Illustrated Guide of Marine Mammals and the Marine Mammals Stranding DataBase, the Mammalian Crania Photographic Archive that currently includes 704 specimens, the Morning Glories Database that covers the many mutants of Ipomoea nil, closely related species and interspecific hybrids, the Makino Herbarium Database, which is named after the pioneering Japanese botanist, Tomitaro Makino, and the Japanese Bees Image Database.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 20, 2009 - 5 comments

Smells Like Spartacus

The Uprising Of The Ants: "Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "
posted by The Whelk on Apr 2, 2009 - 32 comments

Antpocalypse!!!

Today's date? Why, it's...July 11, 2052, and man has been cowering in terror, self-sealed in his own living-tombs since that day of horror in...1952. Remember? 100 years ago, the sky above America turned black...with the dread flight of millions of ferocious, gigantic ants! [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Sep 5, 2008 - 56 comments

Another Reason I'm Glad I'm Not An Ant

Continuing the recent theme of horrifying parasites, here's an infectious little nematode that makes its host swell up into a plump, juicy, red berry so that birds will mistakenly eat its bloated ichorous abdomen and spread the eggs. (via) [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jan 21, 2008 - 31 comments

Ballistic Jaw Propulsion of Trap-Jaw Ants

The trap-jaw ant, best known for its powerful jaws which hold the land speed record for movement at 145 miles per hour, is brilliantly captured in a short film shot at 100,000 frames per second. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Dec 28, 2007 - 70 comments

That's MY CAKE

Antbuster: Friday Flash Fun
posted by Rubbstone on Jul 20, 2007 - 12 comments

Ant cam

Ants are so cool. Click previous sentence for more information.
posted by thirteenkiller on Mar 22, 2006 - 18 comments

Networks part 2

Visualising Networks is fun. So are Monkey Networks (ppt). Dolphin Networks (pdf). Ant networks can aide network design. Does the Brain Work Like the Internet? Can the Internet Think? The Social Superorganism and its Global Brain? Webog Inequality. A City Is Not a Tree. The I Ching, a network of 384 pathways. The Whole, the Parts, and the Holes. Heterarchy, the secret of Japan, Inc.? Sense/non-sense;hierarchy/heterarchy... Heterachy and Heirarchy: Two Complimenatary categorises of description (pdf). Summary: "Our most significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which we produced them." (attributed to Einstein)
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 26, 2006 - 5 comments

So named as they drive everything out of their path

Driver ants. Also known as siafu, the ants form colonies of up to 22 million individuals. When on the move, the workers travel in narrow ant highways which are surrounded by the larger soldier ants. Males are also known as sausage flies and are the largest ants found on earth.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs on Aug 27, 2005 - 14 comments

Insect Criminality

Bee crimes against the colony. Worker policing: the policing of insect societies.
posted by dfowler on Mar 24, 2005 - 15 comments

Gliding ants

Gliding ants have an uncanny ability to land on the tree's trunk and climb back to the very spot from which they'd fallen. FAQ, more videos. (via boingboing)
posted by dhruva on Feb 11, 2005 - 14 comments

The Five-Year Honey Plan is proceeding apace, comrade.

If a young worker attempts to reproduce, she is spreadeagled by her fellows and kept immobilized for hours or even days. At the end of her sentence, the best she can hope for is a reduction in rank and loss of reproductive capability. Often she is mutilated or killed.
Fascinating article about police-state behavior in insects, complete with information on mutant anarchist worker bees, ant-led coups, and parasitic self-cloning bees. (via BoingBoing.)
posted by Vidiot on Aug 6, 2003 - 5 comments

Ant intelligence

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
Yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest. -- (proverbs 6:6-8)
posted by jamespake on May 20, 2003 - 10 comments

A 3,600 mile long ant colony

A 3,600 mile long ant colony was discovered last week in Europe. An amazing feat of cooperative living.
posted by pinto on Apr 21, 2002 - 15 comments

EuroAnts

EuroAnts Recognizing that free trade and globalization are inevitable, ants in Europe have formed a super-colony. Does their currency have pictures of generic anthills so no colony feels left out?
posted by srboisvert on Apr 15, 2002 - 22 comments

What

What a horrible way to go...
posted by meaning on May 26, 2000 - 3 comments

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