Queen of Formicidae

Friday, October 9th, 2009 | Ants, Art | 2 Comments

Hail Queen of Formicidae, ruler of all ant species! (that’s 12,591 species as of today if you ask)

Queen of Formicidae by Y Ikeda
Via Queen of Formicidae by ~Y-Ikeda on deviantART.



Charlie Darwin – by The Low Anthem live on Lake Fever Sessions

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | Art, Personalities | 1 Comment

Low Anthem “Charle Darwin” from Lake Fever Sessions on Vimeo.

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Annie Liebowitz to the arthropods

Friday, September 18th, 2009 | Art, Humor, Personalities | 2 Comments

Sorry, with apologies to my colleague and fellow blogger Alex, I just couldn’t let this one pass. [/giggle]

Alex Wild, Annie Liebowitz to the arthropods” – Carl Zimmer

via Beautifying Bedbugs | The Loom | Discover Magazine.


Parachuting to the ground

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 | Ants, Art, Behavior | Comments Off on Parachuting to the ground

It is a wonderful photograph, but what really caught my attention is the author’s description of it on the published caption.

Moldovan photographer, Bolucevschi Vitali, has won the title of CIWEM’s Environmental Photographer of the Year 2009. His picture, Talking About Stars, also won the Natural World category. Only 24 years old, the amateur photographer described how he was able to take his winning image: “On a sunny day I took a camera and set out to photograph something of the life of ants. At first I was no good as the ants moved very quickly and I was easily distracted. But gradually I was drawn to a group which was climbing up a nearby dandelion. They would each pull out one seed and then parachute to the ground”

They are Formica ants or “wood ants”. Can’t tell which species from here.

via CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2009 competition winners – Telegraph.

Update September 16th, 2009: A friend of mine ask me if the ants were really parachuting and if I had heard of this behavior before. The answer was that I had never heard of this before, but my guess is that the ant just pulls the seed out forcefully and falls to the ground, seed in mouth, as it looses her balance. A beautiful accident.

Ants vs Termites

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | Ants, Art, Popular Culture, Science | 1 Comment

In this fantastically rendered futuristic landscape, from the mind of Ricky Parker, mechanical ants fight mechanical termites over the dominion of the forest.

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Giant Bronze Ants

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 | Ants, Art | Comments Off on Giant Bronze Ants

Artist Susan P. Cochran has created a fascinating set of giant ants as part of her insect series of bronze sculptures.

I particularly like the balance between anatomical detail and artistic interpretation, as one can recognize in the sculptures all the essential characteristics of an ant.

Part of her inspiration, she explains, comes from the social nature of ants, something she reflects in the composition of an egg-laying queen being attended by three workers.

The impression in real life must be fantastic. I hope some Museum of Natural History of similar research institution decides to purchase and display some of this work at their entrance yard.

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And as we discussed last semester, the Army Ants will leave nothing but your bones.
- Tom Waits