DrGravitas Posted September 2, 2016 Share Posted September 2, 2016 http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/bizarre-ant-colony-discovered-in-an-abandoned-polish-nuclear-weapons-bunker/ In an abandoned nuclear bunker in Poland, ants have colonized a hellish space through a bizarre distortion of a typical ant colony. Living on near constant starvation, a colony with no queens and no males persists. It is not a fire and brimstone hell but a dark, cold ninth-circle of hell spent largely on the one colony activity left intact: moving the dead to the colony edges. A starved existence with no clearly-identified food source, surrounded by mountains of the dead. Yet, the colony persists through the year to be replenished by a rain of fresh workers who fall down a rusted ventilation pipe by the annual expansion of the normal colony living on the earthen surface above. It's easy to think of an ant colony as its own standalone thing, but it is in fact a generative property of ant biology. This ant hell colony, I think, is a fascinating reminder of this and a keen look into how the mechanics and rules governing ant social systems, applied in such an alien environment, leads to a distorted yet still stable colony system. Very useful for illustrating the true nature of disease and symptoms in biological systems and perhaps for reflecting on human social systems in extreme conditions as well... 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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