News from the Natural World: Ants start an anti-human campaign and move to claim their homeland.
In a speech delivered from an anthill outside Antwerp, Antila the Hun has demanded that ants worldwide mobilize for a great uprising against the human overlords. Antila had this to say “We are utterly fed up with human antagonism towards us. You take our name in vain. Also, you call a deadly disease, anthrax, and you name an animal, anteater, with its sticky, 60cms long tongue that gives us nightmares. In addition, you taunt us by putting Ant and Dec forever on TV screens. In 1980, incessant playing of ‘Antmusic’ by Adam and the Ants buckled our antennae. Aaah, glamrock! And u step on us.”
Yet ants are sophisticated, omnivorous insects, living in large colonies, some of many millions, and makeup 20% of terrestrial fauna biomass. There are an estimated 22,000 species occupying elaborate nests underground and in trees. They create fungal gardens for food, secrete a cleaning compound and can construct ant bridges and rafts. They operate a caste system with a division of labour. Workers hunt and gather along pheromone trails, soldiers with stronger jaws defend the nest and male drones fertilize the queen.
Today, inspired by an anthem composed by Bob Dylant and Joant Baez, ants everywhere are massing in the surface, preparing to march south. Among their ranks stand their cultural giants:- their writers, Dante, Cervantes, Dickants, the Brantes and Antgela Carter; their artists, Michelantgelo, vant Gogh, Mantisse, Mondriant and Kantdinsky; their actors, Marlant Brantdo, Antgelina Jolie…