Concrete Poured Into Ant Colony Reveals Insect Megalopolis

By Sally Schneider

A video from Ants: Nature's Secret Power shows off the complicated, seemingly human abilities of non-human builders

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This extraordinary video clip is from Ants: Nature's Secret Power, a documentary about the world of ants as seen through the eyes of Bert Hölldobler, ant authority and E.O. Wilson collaborator.

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/03/concrete-poured-into-ant-colony-reveals-insect-megalopolis/72512/

Concrete was poured into an giant underground ant megalopolis, which acts as a mold. After the concrete hardened, scientists carefully excavated it to reveal the structure of the ant's elaborate "city-state":

Everything looks like it has been designed by an architect, a single mind, but of course that isn't true. This colossal and complex city was created by the collective will of the colony, the super organism.

It's kind of grown-up reverse ant farm.

Video link here. View entire video here.

via SwissMiss



This post also appears on The Improvised Life.
Image: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/03/concrete-poured-into-ant-colony-reveals-insect-megalopolis/72512/