Ants use sophisticated forms of agriculture and architecture, requiring domestication and engineering techniques that easily match human efforts in scale and sheer awe. But unlike human beings, ants have been using these technologies sustainably for over 100 million years.
We have the audacity to openly speculate whether we are the only intelligent life form in the universe, while these technological wizards are working miracles right under our noses.
#ants are #awesome
"The ants cut hairs from the plant and weave them together into a hollow gallery, which extends down the side of the tree's branches. Within the gallery, the ants hide inside small holes, jaws agape. From the outside, nothing can see them. If an insect lands on the trap, hundreds of lurking jaws seize its legs and pull it spread-eagled, as if on a medieval ‘torture rack'. The victim is overpowered and dismembered.
This alliance between ant and plant involves a third partner. Within their shelters, the ants grow a single species of fungus from the Chaetothyriales group. Many ants, including the famous leaf-cutters, grow fungi for food but the Allomerus ants use their fungi for construction instead. It acts as the glue that binds the plant hairs in their traps. The plant provides the bricks and the foundations, the fungus provides the mortar, and the ants do the manual labour."