It’s a good thing ants are small…

This big guy was on a beach along the Great Ocean Drive in Australia, 2011.  If you’ve ever had a painful ant bite, then you’re familiar with formic acid in one of its natural forms.  It was first isolated by distilling the bodies of ants, hence the name, since the Latin for ant is another term you probably have heard…formica (the good old inexpensive countertop material of my youth).  Ants tend to be highly organized socially creatures, given to segregating their societies by the individual’s job, making “war” on other colonies, and even taking slaves from other colonies and keeping large numbers of aphids in their nest to feed off their secretions.  There’s a lot going on with ants, you just have to look closely to realize it.  And while you’re at it, be thankful they aren’t a whole lot bigger!  (29 March, 2011  Robe, Australia)

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