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Huge Colony Of Ants Takes Over the Planet

ants-attack-planetTHE summer new brings with it stories of killer bugs that spends all day dreaming up new ways to kill Britishers. Today, the BBC brings news of a single “mega-colony of ants” that has “colonised much of the world”.

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same interrelated colony, and will refuse to fight one another. The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

Right now ants are plotting to take over. In parts of Dorset, they already have.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the ants are Jewish ants and this is the way they roll. The Express says they might be gypsy ants, the Guardian that they have as much right to be here as anyone so long as their papers are in order, the Mail says the ants are not as dangerous as the Black Plague they carry on their backs, the Star says Armani finds ants “dead sexy” and the Sun says some of the ants are bigger than Ant, of Ant ‘n’ Dec (he’s the one on the left).

In Europe, one vast colony of Argentine ants is thought to stretch for 6,000km (375 miles) along the Mediterranean coast, while another in the US, known as the ‘Californian large’, extends over 900km along the coast of California. A third huge colony exists on the west coast of Japan. The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society.

How do we know this?

Researchers in Japan and Spain led by Eiriki Sunamura of the University of Tokyo found that Argentine ants living in Europe, Japan and California shared a strikingly similar chemical profile of hydrocarbons on their cuticles.

Scientists have declared war on the ants by shoving shards of bamboo beneath their nails? Is this wise?

However, the irony is that it is us who likely created the ant mega-colony by initially transporting the insects around the world, and by continually introducing ants from the three continents to each other, ensuring the mega-colony continues to mingle.

The only hope is that when Ants Attack – as they will – they remember that it was we humans who got them so much sex…

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Posted: 1st, July 2009 | In: Reviews | Comment