They Are Smarter Than You Think
AgricultureAnts began farming about 50 million years before humans thought to raise their own crops. The earliest evidence suggests ants started using agriculture as early as 70 million years ago in the early Tertiary period. Even more amazing, these ants use sophisticated horticultural techniques to enhance their crop yields. They secrete chemicals with antibiotic properties to inhibit mold growth, and devised fertilization protocols using manure. Leafcutter Ants grow mushrooms to feed their colony, a notoriously difficult thing to grow... requiring an enormously sophisticated system of vents and tunnels to control the humidity and temperature.
Warfare TechniquesSeparate species, or hostile factions of the same species, may be seen massed in combat, which can be continued for hours, days or weeks. Some of the most extensive battles observed have been fought between Pavement Ants, but there have been massive battles between Argentinian supercolonies that have left millions of ants dead in days. And not just head-to-head battles are fought either, psychological warfare between species has been witnessed as well. Amazon ants (also known for taking slaves) have been observed surrounding an enemy nest and simply sitting and waiting while their victims became more and more frenzied by the camped-out menace. After two entire days, the Amazons attacked, easily defeating their enemies who had been unable to forage and were disorganized and panicked from the seige.
By combining force of numbers with organized aggression, ants have become the greatest insect killers on Earth -- even of their own kind.
SupercoloniesInvasive Argentine ants (these are the little black ants we in LA often see in our bathrooms and around the kitchen sink - they come in for water) form large supercolonies in California. These colonies stretch for hundreds of miles and include millions of nests. Ants from different nests of the same colony rarely show aggression toward each other. The largest supercolony in southern California extends some 600 miles and borders three smaller colonies.
Also, you have to watch that video. It shows a massive excavated ant colony that reached 20 feet deep.
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