Livestreamed lection from Aahus University
Lecture by senior researcher in insect and plant ecology Joachim Offenberg, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University. 

Are the ants a greater success than humans? Maybe. It depends on how to measure success. Although they are small, the ants on the globe, in total, weigh more than all humanity. 

The ants use the same strategies as us: they are organized in communities with queens, slaves and coups and they have "invented" agriculture. They keep livestock and they can regulate the temperature in their marsh trees. Listen how the ants use these strategies and how they developed them long time before man arose. 

The microorganisms are uniquely organized as super organisms where the individual ants act as organisms of an organism. Only the cells, unlike our own cells, can move independently. The organization means that "ants" can change form and can be multiple places at the same time. Different casts of the ants constitute the organs of the superorganism. For example, ants that can blow themselves up in the air like immune systems, the queen acts as both the female and male genitals and weavers have developed their very own form of "connective tissue". 

Listen to how scientists have had the luck of using ants to replace spray plants in orchards. You will also - literally - hear the sound of an ant-superorganism and the sound of the chemical substances the ants use to communicate with. 

PS: Did you know that a small Danish ant has become one of the world's most expensive foods?


17. April 2018
Norðari Ringvegur
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