Formicid Form: The Ants

The Daily Ant maintains “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, provides a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!


The Ants

By John Clare

What wonder strikes the curious, while he views
The black ant’s city, by a rotten tree,
Or woodland bank! In ignorance we muse:
Pausing, annoyed, –we know not what we see,
Such government and thought there seem to be;
Some looking on, and urging some to toil,
Dragging their loads of bent-stalks slavishly:
And what’s more wonderful, when big loads foil
One ant or two to carry, quickly then
A swarm flock round to help their fellow-men*.
Surely they speak a language whisperingly,
Too fine for us to hear; and sure their ways
Prove they have kings and laws, and that they be
Deformed remnants of the Fairy-days.

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Ant Babies and Their Superpowers

Dedicated readers of The Daily Ant may remember that earlier this year, we featured myrmecologist Dr. Adrian Smith and his work on ant babies. Such readers may also remember our coverage of the Field Museum AntLab’s Dr. Shauna Price in a Theatre Thursdays installment. Well, recently, the same Dr. Price shared with us a marvelous BBC feature on ant babies from last spring. Although we do not endorse some of the vertebrate framing (“No one would call a baby ant cute.” Srsly?), we definitely recommend that everyone read the article and come to appreciate just how cool ant babies really are!

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The Daily Ant One-Year Antiversary: In Review

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s true. What started out one year ago from yesterday as a podunk formicid-friendly online media project with an inaugural post on loving your house ants has grown into a podunk formicid-friendly online media project with 196 published articles. Whether you’re joining us now for the first time, or have traversed the long foraging trail of myrmecological justice since the very beginning, it’s time to consider what we’ve accomplished together.

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Theatre Thursday: Them!

The Daily Ant hosts an intermittent ant film series, Theatre Thursdays. This is the fourth installment, by our Film Correspondant Derek Langston. Enjoy!


Six-legged Celluloid Presents…
A review of Them!: “We like big ants and we cannot lie, you vertebrates can’t deny!”

An-unfortunately-exploitative-poster-for-the-classic-THEM-

To my faithful readers and fellow cinematic antficianados, I wanted to both reward you, and thank you for your patience as you suffered with me on my previous 2 trials by film. At last, I present an ant centric film that will not make you want to pull off your geniculate antennae! Them!, released by Warner Bros in 1954, was one of my favorite giant creature features to watch when I was growing up. After my first viewing of the original Gojira (USA release Godzilla, also from 1954, also about an atomically enhanced creature), I watched a lot of really terrible kaiju and giant insect films, most of which were instantly forgettable. Them!, however, stood out as a shining example of a monster melodrama that was clearly a labor of love and not just stamped out of some generic mold to capitalize on the current film trends.

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Theatre Thursday: Field Museum’s Shauna Price at Music Box Theatre

The Daily Ant hosts an intermittent ant film series, Theatre Thursdays. This is the third installment. Enjoy!


On Tuesday, denizens of the Music Box Theatre in Wrigleyville, Chicago were treated to something truly special: A showing of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and a post-film discussion with Dr. Shauna Price, a postdoctoral researcher in the Moreau AntLab at the Field Museum of Natural History. We sent a reporter to the scene who captured some of the action live on our Twitter feed. Click the tweet to see the thread of commentary – with pictures!

Public myrmecology owes a debt of gratitude to Shauna price, as we note in our final tweet:

 

Formicid Form: Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant

The Daily Ant maintains “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, provides a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!


Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant

By Jose Garcia Villa

Be beautiful, noble, like the antique ant,
Who bore the storms as he* bore the sun,
Wearing neither gown nor helmet,
Though he was archbishop and soldier:
Wore only his own flesh.

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