Ants Gone Wild: The Worst Sex Ever
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
The video below ought to put a definitive end to the No Sex versus Bad Sex debate.
Slovakian wildlife photographer Adrián Skippy Purkart captured a queen ant being ravaged by a swarm of males while having her brain sucked out of her head by a spider. This video was posted on the Amateur myrmecology Youtube channel.
While the activity Purkart captured might seem horrible, it should not be considered abnormal. It's simply a nuptial flight gone wrong. After all, the name queen ant, like the queen bee, is not the best description of her role in the colony. While the queen is larger than the other ants, she is not the leader.
Think of an ant colony as a single, complex organism. A single ant brain, such as the one the spider is snacking on in the video below, has about 250,000 brain cells. A human brain, on the other hand, consists of 10,000 million. An yet, a colony of 40,000 ants taken together has the same size brain as a human being. They just divide up the tasks really well. In the case of the queen, her only role is to function as a reproductive agent.
So in this event, everyone was simply going about their business as expected. The queen just happened to get eaten by a spider. Sure makes me glad to be human.
Watch the video here:
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter: @DanielHonan
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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