Monday, February 14, 2011

The Wondrous World of Nature and Natural Exploitation

Here's a very nice video of how a stick insect has learned a trick to exploit the gullibility of an ant...

Now that you've viewed the charming little "nature story" about imitation and exploitation, you are ready for the real horror story: army ants!

I remember as a kid sitting in a dark theatre terrified by the tale of South American army ants and their utter devastation of a farm. Here's the plot:
It's 1901. At 19, tough, stubborn Christopher Leiningen came to South America and built levees to claim thousands of acres of Rio Negro river land for a chocolate plantation. Now 34, with no knowledge of women, he recruits a mail-order bride in New Orleans. She's beautiful, independent, and arrives ready to be his stalwart helpmate; however, no one has told him she's a widow. He rejects her. During the next week, as she awaits the boat to take her back to the US, they learn that legions of army ants will strike in a few days' time. She joins the fight to save the plantation; their courage and his probable loss of all he's worked for may crack his resolve to send her away.
And what's the film? The 1954 classic The Naked Jungle!

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