strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Animal Music Monday: Ants Marching

Posted by Richard Conniff on August 1, 2016

An ant from Madagascar named Eutetramorium mocquerysi (SEM photo: Molly Gibson)

An ant from Madagascar named Eutetramorium mocquerysi (SEM photo: Molly Gibson)

Yikes, it’s been more than 20 years since the David Matthews Band released its anthem (that may be a pun), “Ants Marching,” in December 1995.  The gist of it was that we sometimes allow our lives to lapse into a state of tedium and repetition, like ants: “All the little ants are marching, red and black antennae waving, they all do it the same, they all do it the same way.”

I think ants are actually way more interesting than DMB lets on. In fact, I once traveled to Madagascar to jump a freight train and go bushwhacking for ants with the California Academy of Sciences entomologist Brian Fisher.  You can read about that episode in my book Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals.

But, oh, shit, I just realized that trip happened ten years ago now.

The week ends, the week begins.ants-search

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