Friday, May 6, 2011

Who's Who in an Ant Colony?

The Queen doesn't seem to think of herself as a royal.  She goes through her day much the same as the workers. They are just busy with what comes naturally to them.  She attends to her children much as any mother would. The workers assist her in this without regard to caste.  There is no real sense of reverence or superiority.  They all just go about things as they have evolved.  A business relationship has formed with butterflies.  It has its randomness and trial and error but a clear mutualism.  I saw them feed on a caterpillar that cheated them.  In most cases though the mutualism balances out across a lifetime.
The young Queen is a lover. She makes no qualms about it.  She doesn't seem to subscribe to the idea of a life long partner. Maybe thats because males as an almost absolute rule live short lives here.  The communication is mostly vibrations. The Queen seems to be the most receptive.  The workers respond to her touch with increased compliance.  All in all its a slow, practical evolution of basic survival.  Truth be told I'm pretty much bored to death with it.  They think I'm crazy and kind of treat me as an outcast.  I don't mind much though. They think that 9 year old boy with a magnifying glass is God.

NOVA: Ants - Little Creatures Who Run the World