View Full Version : Watch where you step...

28-04-2005, 14:33:29

A fierce species of Amazonian ant has been seen building elaborate traps on which hapless prey are stretched like medieval torture victims, before being slowly hacked to pieces.
With cunning and patience, Allomerus decemarticulatus worker-ants cut hairs from the stem of the plant they inhabit, and use the tiny fibres to build a spongy snare, Nature magazine reports.

This ingenious feat of engineering has only ever been observed in one other species of related ant, French researchers say.

The ants cut hairs to clear a path under the plant stem, while leaving some hairs standing to form "pillars" on top of which the lethal platform will sit.

Using the plant hairs they have harvested, the ants weave the platform itself, which is bound together and strengthened using a special fungus.

When the ants have completed the chamber they puncture holes all along its surface, each just big enough to poke their heads through.

Then, hundreds of worker ants climb into the chamber and wait for an unfortunate victim.

"Workers will hide inside the platform, with their mandibles just inside the hole and they will wait there for prey to come," co-author Jerome Orivel of the University of Toulouse, France said.

Anything with legs slim enough to fit through the carefully constructed holes will meet a miserable fate if they are foolish enough to enter the trap.

28-04-2005, 14:40:51
We should probably exterminate before they get too much smarter than us.

28-04-2005, 14:41:27
That needs pictures, not words.

28-04-2005, 14:44:53
the pictures are too horrifying

28-04-2005, 14:47:32
Originally posted by Venom
We should probably exterminate before they get too much smarter than us.

The careful wording of that sentence did not go unnoticed.

28-04-2005, 14:54:54

28-04-2005, 14:59:37
My subtlety is my genius.

Greg W
28-04-2005, 15:00:35
So, rarely used, and often misunderstood?

28-04-2005, 15:03:34
Highly used, seldom recognized.

28-04-2005, 15:06:51

28-04-2005, 15:09:10
What's she smiling at?

28-04-2005, 15:25:37
When the crocodile smiles, run.

28-04-2005, 16:20:29

Lurker the Second
28-04-2005, 16:23:57
Originally posted by Greg W
So, rarely used, and often misunderstood?

Don't we have enough sex threads around here already? No need to pile on.