Humans and Ants

Entomologist and National Geographic photographer Mark Moffett looks at the similarities between ants and humans, specifically our use of warfare.

With speed and sheer numbers, weaver ants can overwhelm and pin scorpions and other large prey. These hunters in Cambodia will carry the scorpion to the nest and tear off bits to feed the larvae, which need all the protein they can get. (From the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26.)

( Mark W. Moffett/National Geographic )

As weaver ants build a nest in Malaysia, they must pull one leaf toward another. A long body—about a third of an inch—is a boon, as each ant grabs on to adjacent leaf edges with feet and jaws. If one body isn't sufficient, the insects interlock to form chains. (From the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26.)

( Mark W. Moffett/National Geographic )

It's the insect version of squeezing glue from a bottle. This adult weaver in Australia holds a silk-producing larva in its jaws, spreading the larva's sticky secretions to bind leaves for the colony nest. Few animals match such intricate homemaking techniques. (From the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26.)

( Mark W. Moffett/National Geographic )
These photos appear in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26.
These photos appear in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26. ( National Geographic )
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