Monday, August 10, 2009

A short introduction to Davian behavior

Today I'd like to talk about something called Davian behavior. To understand what this eponym refers to, consider the following limeric:
There was an old miner named Dave
who kept a dead whore in his cave
You have to admit
He hadn't much wit
But look at the money he saved!
That's right. I'm talking about necrophilia. More specifically, animal necrophilia.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why ants are awesome: Cooperation, zombification

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because ants have already taken over the world.

To get a sense of their global dominance, consider the following facts. Ants monopolize 75% of the total insect biomass and 15% of the total terrestrial animal biomass. Their colonies can become huge; one colony of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in California spans 560 miles, while another colony from the same species along the Mediterranean spans 3,700 miles. What's worse, ants from the super-colonies from America and Europe already act like members of an international mafioso; when continent-hopping ants of this species encounter each other on foreign soil, they cooperate instead of fighting.

Be very, very afraid.