Wednesday, July 01, 2009

They See London, They See France ...

Man, when I first read through this BBC article, I had to pause, to think if this was something scientific, or, the outline of a new horror screenplay, perhaps pulling the old cast of "Tremors" together again, for another "monsters-underground" adventure.

There's also a suspicion, this surfacing at the same time as the ongoing saga of Governor Gaucho, and his Argentinian soul mate.

Ant mega-colony takes over world

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same interrelated colony, and will refuse to fight one another.

The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

What's more, people are unwittingly helping the mega-colony stick together.


While ants are usually highly territorial, those living within each super-colony are tolerant of one another, even if they live tens or hundreds of kilometres apart. Each super-colony, however, was thought to be quite distinct.

But it now appears that billions of Argentine ants around the world all actually belong to one single global mega-colony.


The most plausible explanation is that ants from these three super-colonies are indeed family, and are all genetically related, say the researchers. When they come into contact, they recognise each other by the chemical composition of their cuticles.

"The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society," the researchers write in the journal Insect Sociaux, in which they report their findings.
We've had threats with bats, the honeybees, and now, we got deal with Argentinian Ants ... Argentinian ants that pal around together, like some world hood gang?

Dependable Renegade smells a conspiracy, while PZ Myers, has a more resigned take, suggesting "You better start practicing your tango is you hope to get along with our new arthropod overlords."

Lastly, you can't do a post on ants, without putting this up with it;

Sinatra's classic song High Hopes

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