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Ants Misbehavin'

Lenore Skenazy on

For instance, she said: One very aggressive colony would go out of its way to attack others. Oddly, it was also the only one terrified of her camera lights. Its ants would run and hide. But then? Back to marauding.

One day, Chalmers noticed the local ants looking agitated -- which is not something most of us would necessarily put our finger on. But Chalmers? "I knew something was brewing."

The next morning, she woke to find literally "millions of slaughtered ants just everywhere." Worse: They'd torn off each other's limbs.

The aggressive colony had attacked and won. And yet, when Chalmers placed a large branch of their favorite leaves conveniently in their path, "they walked right by it and wouldn't even take it." This brutal colony was also the least curious and adaptable.

Chalmers isn't doing an Aesop here. She's not sure what this proves... except that the living world is a complex, beautiful and sometimes senseless place for ants.


And for the rest of us.


Lenore Skenazy is president of Let Grow, a contributing writer at, and author of "Has the World Gone Skenazy?" To learn more about Lenore Skenazy ( and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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