Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Ants Digging Deep

Cast of a Florida harvester ant nest. These can be up to 3 meters (10 feet) deep. When you're an archaeologist it's important to understand the forces that might have moved your artifacts around since people dropped them on the ground.


David said...

I'm struck that these ants dig deep, with the downward tunnels moving at an angle but periodically course-correcting to keep a basically straight-down trajectory. They seem to show no impulse to dig laterally, which would seem to be more obvious if they were looking for food, for example. I wonder what the "purpose" of the deep tunnels is, and what they're doing down in the lower chambers--perhaps the purpose is to put something deep (eggs? young?) so that predators are less likely to get at them. Unless there's some sort of nourishment or other use they get from, say, clay?

G. Verloren said...

I imagine the nest cast pictured was from the northern parts of the state - in many parts of Florida, they would have hit the water table after just a few feet.