TNF

Ants of the Trailhead Colony

In Read on February 14, 2011 at 7:14 am

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s probably a bit much to say that ants feel love, but here’s a piece from the New Yorker examining the devotion they nonetheless have for their colony:

The Queen may not have been the leader of this miniature civilization, but she was the fountainhead of all its energies and growth, the key to its success or failure. The metronomic pumping out of fertilized eggs from her twenty ovaries was the heartbeat of the colony. The ultimate purpose of all the workers’ labor—their careful construction of the nest, their readiness to risk their lives in daily searches for food, their suicidal defense of the nest entrance—was that she continue to create more altruistic workers like themselves. One worker, or a thousand workers, could die and the colony would go on, repairing itself as needed. But the failure of the Queen would be fatal.

A quick heads-up: the full story is around 11 printed pages.

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  1. “the metronomic pumping out of fertilized eggs from her twenty ovaries” …ah this really touches my heart on V-day

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