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Dead Bugs and Poetry
Photos of insects in amber millions of years old
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A good argument can be made that the earth has been designed for ants (although beetles might argue...). They are an amazing biological success, having grown to nearly a quarter of the earth's biomass and thriving in every imaginable ecosystem except Antarctica. The Swiss army knife of the insect world, ants are able to physically adapt themselves to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves in ways that often bend credulity. If that were not enough, they (and termites) have social organizations that are sometimes described as superorganisms, giving them the ability to communicate, organize and solve complex problems.
Ants evolved from insects similar to wasps from 110 to 130 million years ago - the mid-Cretaceous. It is believed that only half of their estimated 22,000 species have been identified. The diversity of their social organization evokes human parallels, and makes them compelling subjects in the amber stop-motion record. Beautiful and graceful creatures with graceful slender waists, they live in complex colonies with millions of female workers and soldiers.
Their slick glossy surfaces makes many of them feel still alive even after millions of years. Their chitinous faces are expressionless but their death throe contortions speak eloquently.