Skip to comments.Trap-building ants torture prey(sinister and clever)
Posted on 04/24/2005 9:16:28 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Trap-building ants torture prey
With cunning and patience, Allomerus decemarticulatus worker-ants cut hairs from the stem of the plant they inhabit, and use the tiny fibres to build a spongy snare, Nature magazine reports.
This ingenious feat of engineering has only ever been observed in one other species of related ant, French researchers say.
What the ants do is cut hairs to clear a path under the plant stem, while leaving some hairs standing to form "pillars" on top of which the lethal platform will sit.
Using the plant hairs they have harvested, the ants weave the platform itself, which is bound together and strengthened using a special fungus.
When the ants have completed the chamber they puncture holes all along its surface, each just big enough to poke their heads through.
Then, hundreds of worker ants climb into the chamber and wait for an unfortunate victim.
"Workers will hide inside the platform, with their mandibles just inside the hole and they will wait there for prey to come," co-author Jerome Orivel of the University of Toulouse, France said.
Anything with legs slim enough to fit through the carefully constructed holes will meet a miserable fate if they are foolish enough to enter the trap.
Once the prey is well secured by jaws fastening all its extremities, it is stretched over the platform like an ancient sacrifice to the gods.
Scores of worker ants then stream out from inside the trap and sting it vigorously to cause paralysis.
Once the creature is dead or fully immobilised, the ants will carry it to their nest, where they will dismember their prey before carrying it inside.
"Small insects will be immediately dismembered and transported to the nest," said Dr Orivel. "But bigger insects will stay on the trap for up to 12 hours."
There is no limit to the ants' ambition and they will attempt to catch any mammoth of the insect world - so long as it has slender legs.
"Their success depends on the type of insect," Dr Orivel told the BBC News website. "The insects' legs have to be smaller than the holes otherwise they cannot get hold of them.
"The ants must have something to catch - for example, caterpillars will have nothing to get hold of so they will not be preyed upon."
The closet analogy in the animal world to liberals with their endless micro-management of our lives, torturing us with their mainstream media deceit, and devouring us with their taxes.
So by extension, Gullivar was tortured by the Lliputians.
A journalist can graduate from J school with no science and ignorantly write away.
Very interesting ants. But what will Debbie Rowe have to say about Jacko setting traps for his young victims and licking their heads? Another weird species of insect.
Come to think of it, insects wearing panties over their head, could easily make the front-page headline of New York Times. Paul Krugman will write a scathing column condemning such atrocities.:-) Oh, that would be a real fun!!
||I've read this article twice and both times I'm reminded of an ex-girlfriend.|
More than coincidence? You decide...
Give it 2 days and you'll be able to buy a colony on eBay.
Certainly a product of evolution ... you know ... happenstance, accident, chance, ka-boom fart of the universe.
< / sarcasm >
And their love of theatrics,deceitful machinations, and masquerading as champions of the underdog, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the little animals in the forest.
This is my personal Jihad, I am at war with these monsters and will be till the day I die!!
Unfortunately they will still be around.............
When I was a little kid, I was like you. I declared the open season on an ant colony.
It was that religious awakening that launched me on my Jihad..........
My Jihad was not trauma-induced, though. I have to say that you have ample reason to hate ants.
This reminds me of the time I moved into an apartment that had been ant infested for years - nothing worked to kill them. I baked a tray of corn bread and set a piece in the middle of the floor and left for the morning. When I came back that afternoon, there was a black path one inch wide extending from under the kitchen sink to the middle of the hardwood floor of the living room where the cornbread was. I took a large sponge and wiped the million or so ants up and into the sink. I did the same thing the next day, and the next. By the fourth day, when I came in, there was about six ants left. We never had another problem after that.
Until recently, I lived in California. When I read that all of the ants in California essentially belong to one giant ant hive stretching for hundreds of miles north and south, I realized that the war against the ants is already lost. All we can do is hope to prevail for a short time in limited battles.
The worst part is, those ants in California aren't even American ants. They're from Argentina! They killed our native ants!
...unless...the right man with a big enough magnifying glass...
Sheesh, even the ants are aliens........
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.