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
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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