Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lord of the Ants

A fascinating man - Ed Wilson is the ant man. Over six decades at Harvard University he has discovered more about ants than anyone else in history. He has thrown into relief for the general public just how important ants are—how they represent 25% or more of the insect biomass on the planet, how collectively they weigh more than all the humans in the world, how they assist humans by aerating the soil, suturing wounds, or, as in South Africa, harvesting the rooibos seeds for farm workers to collect. And how ancient they are: in 1966 Wilson and his colleagues identified an ant in a shard of amber that was 80m years old. Ants emerged along with flowering plants 130m years ago. By contrast, the genus Homo diverged 2m years ago, has existed as Homo sapiens for a fraction of that time, with a civilization of 20,000 years or so. Read more: Ants and Us, Published on More Intelligent Life or watch NOVA: Lord of the Ants on YouTube

1 comment:

Doris Sturm said...

Tthis is FANTASTIC! I love NOVA and I have shared this video on facebook and twitter - and I will watch this movie again and again.

Thank you so much!

Happy New Year!