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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
ANTS

WORKING LIFE OF A WORKER ANT

...The brain of an ant is one of the most amazing complexes of material atoms, can be more wonderful than the human brain.
Charles Darwin

Neural network (brain) ants tiny - much smaller than a pinhead. Yet ants have long considered by the sages. In the old days in Kyrgyzstan, people who wanted a good deed, went to sleep to the surface it meant good luck. And if Kirghiz wanted to do much good, he could come to the same nest 20 years in a row-this is the normal life of females, around which is busy all the ant people.

Formic buildings, where young females replace old, standing on the same place more than a hundred years. Modest working a little ant, too, the elder among insects - he is working "hard legs" about seven years. And during this time you can learn not only how to grow mushrooms, milk aphids or nursing pupae. Of course, the word "learning" to the ant is not very suitable. Because his behavior is largely genetically controlled inherited reflexes. And yet the ant can teach.

A little ant, just born, or rather, the darkness (as in the anthill quite dark), the first forty days never crosses the threshold of our home. As if he is in elementary school: polishes innate instincts, sharpens the senses, improves the psyche. However, his career begins much earlier - after he is old one day. First, he feeds the female, then trust him work harder: care of eggs, larvae and pupae. Forty days (the experiments were made with a very common form of Formica polyctena) come the so-called age-related changes maxillary sinuses glands and ovaries, the insects emerge from the nests are foraging or specialize in building part.

You can become a soldier or a nurse, you can get a job and work, which I personally really like to sunbathe in the sun. Only here and ants suit turmoil: after being in the sun for ten minutes, running inside of an anthill and there cool. These solar procedures in a cool time in the anthill at 5° to 10 ° warmer than outside. So tan ants for the benefit of society. The temperature they measure mustache who feel the difference just a quarter of a degree.

And how not to remember the Mayakovsky: "Namatay himself to us - all works good, choose on taste." The more that ants distribute your posts exactly like if the first five days after emergence from the egg the larva being fed solid food - it will grow up to be soldiers, and if the larvae are fed liquid food, hatch worker ant.

Ants and then lick and feed each other. An endless stream of organics, the current from the mouth of one ant in the mouth of another, compared with the blood flow in the body highly organized animal. This is not an exaggeration. Because when mutual feedings among ant folks redistributed not only nutrients, but also enzymes, and hormones. Even ant eggs not die only when their lovingly lick ants, nurse, saliva via osmosis gets inside the egg. Its share in the total boiler make and larvae. They return a piece of food, secrete some substance, which greedily lick adult ants.

Apparently, these insects are well versed in the chemical composition of food: protein and carbohydrate food is distributed among them in different ways. Carbohydrate fuel consume only working individuals, and primarily supplied those who work outside the nest. The proteins in the menu of the workers are rare. But larvae and mushrooming females sit on the protein diet.

But we left our forty-day the little ant, which for the first time wants to go outside. To leave home, probably scary, and not because young people before this crucial moment going by the crowd, staying near the exit. Just plucking up his courage, all at once run on the surface. A. A. Zakharov - author of the fascinating book "Intraspecific relations in ants" writes that psychological hitch characterized not only by formic young people newly entering the dungeon. For example, this psychological detail: ant, accidentally got to strangers, struggling to share the contents of their sabika with strangers - say, I come in peace.

Ant can't live alone. And he not only suffers from hunger. Voracious predators - red forest ants together stretched much longer than alone. But in order to truly live, you must have at least ten friends.

Work alone is also not well - isolated ants dig sand sluggish, somehow, and in a group abounds with inspiration and higher performance. Who has not seen how several workers, clutching a piece of straw, pulling her like a Swan, cancer Yes pike. But this basanna situation occurs only when the load is light. If you need to haul something heavy, ants quickly coordinate their actions and do not interfere with each other.

Special measurements confirmed this. So, when you carry heavy insect power of one ant was 24,2 erg/s, and two -61,2 erg/sec. The presence of the other as if to add strength.

However, you should not think that ants are fussing from morning till night. Does no - one quarter of the working time they spend caring for their own persona: now and then to clean, arrange, so to speak, hygiene breaks.

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The menagerie at the porch

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