Monday, October 25, 2010

LEAFCUTTERS

A Marvel of Ants
"A Marvel of Ants" by Bence Máté

When people ask me what is the most impressive wildlife I've seen in the Amazon forest, my answer, without hesitation, is "ants!" Now, Bence Máté has won the prestigious 2010 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year with his photo of Leafcutter ants.

They cut the leafs to feed the fungi they cultivate to feed to their larvae and, according to Wikipedia:

Next to humans, leafcutter ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on Earth. In a few years, the central mound of their underground nests can grow to more than 30 metres (98 ft) across with smaller, radiating mounds extending out to a radius of 80 metres (260 ft), taking up 30 to 600 square metres (320 to 6,500 sq ft) and containing eight million individuals.

And, by the way, Bence Máté is also an extraordinary bird photographer.Here's another one of his award-winning photos:

BenceMate_Roller_1000

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