Sunday, May 01, 2005

Ant Ambush

Most kids are fascinated by ants and I was no exception- particularly after my brother and I sat up late one Saturday night to watch Them! when we were kids. Even now if I see ants scurrying about their business I have to crouch down to have a look. Our local ants have nothing on this Amazon species though- they not only build fibreglass-tough nests, they also create lots of little tunnels on the surface and use these to ambush larger prey. When the bigger insect lands on the surface the ants break out of their little foxholes and grab a hold of the nearest extremity, holding the prey down all over its body. With the big insect immobilised the ants bite and sting it into submission and, finally, either cut it up into pieces there and then or simply transport it back into their nest.


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