Cemeteries are known locations of an abundance of human bones. But cemeteries are not the only site where human bones have been deposited, in both modern and ancient times, and investigations of such bones, wherever they are found, can often tell us a lot about traumatic injuries, environmental changes, cultural histories, and a number of other phenomenon that might interest anthropologists, including forensic anthropologists. However, interpreting bones can be difficult. Various destructive factors can change the shape and other features of bones over time, and thus the more we know about processes of bone destruction, the more we can know about the other phenomena associated with the bones.

And here’s where the ants come in. A paper published earlier this year, in Forensic Entomology, formally reports a discovery that previously had only been the subject of speculation and anecdotes: direct modification of human bones… by ants.

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!

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.

In a recent episode of the (wonderfully named) Science for the People podcast, University of Illinois – Chicago PhD student Anika Hazra interviewed myrmecologists Stephen Pratt and Simon Garnier. You may remember Hazra, also a myrmecologist, from her great antforgraphic on ant colony optimization! Now check out her engaging and informative interview of Pratt and Garnier, on ant intelligence, here.

The Daily Ant is thrilled to report that we have launched a historic GoFundMe campaign: “AntSongs: A Daily Ant Experience“.

Bring such remarkable tunes as Tom Waits’ “Army Ants”, Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes”, and Calle 13’s “El Hormiguero” to life! The Daily Ant will partner with Jordan Blanchard, a singer-songwriter from Michigan, to produce interpretive covers of these underappreciated classics.

If you would like to support this formicid-forward campaign, donate today!