Amazing ant colony


This remarkable video segment from a Science channel show on ants came through Digg today:
The structure covers 538 square feet and travels 26 feet into the earth. In it’s construction, the colony moved 40 tons of soil. Billions of ant loads of soil were brought to the surface. Each load weighed four times as much as the worker ant, and in human terms, was carried over 1/2 mile to the surface.

In the video, the scientists pour ten tons of liquid concrete into the ant colony, wait several weeks for it to set then excavate it. Amazing! [YouTube via Digg]

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They are ants, dammit. A few million tiny scraps of chitin and squishy stuff out of umpteen trillions of other tiny scraps of chitin and squishy stuff. Yes, it's a very nice colony and all that and yes, it's a bit of a shame that it got filled up, but a colony of that size may well have been a danger or a nuisance to anyone nearby. Cool as it is, comparing effectively non-sentient ants and their fairly impressive colony to the human race is silly. Science is more important than a single ant colony. Indeed, scientific advancement as a whole is probably more important than an awful lot of things. People forget that benefits from scientific advances permeate everything, including your life. Quite a lot of you wouldn't be alive without some very unhappy and very dead animals.
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It's too late, it happened. Complaining about the ants won't bring them back so let's marvel at how awesome it is and move on with out lives.
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"above and beyond, is what i’d call it, adam. you just don’t expect that kind of care and concern from scientists these days. it’s always science, science, science. where’s the care, the concern, the compassion?"

Scientists are more respectful of the environment now than ever before. Do you really think standards of care and ethics have moved backwards?!
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It is not for us to decide which creatures are significant or not. Destruction of such a marvel of a structure to satisfy one's curiosity just doesn't seem right. And no I'm not a die hard animal/insect lover, nor am I a vegetarian. For all those who criticize us for showing some compassion, I hope that one day when someone/something more powerful has your life in their hands, they will show you the same lack of respect for all things living.
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