OMG! MY ANTS ARE LEARNING!

6 days ago
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English subtitle

Oh man!
My Yellow Crazy Ants are showing some alarming
signs of learning, and I'm not sure what to
make of it!
Behold the Hacienda Del Dorado, the massive
terrarium and home of our yellow crazy ants,
a colony you have voted to be called the Golden
Empire.
Initially, I knew ants were intelligent creatures,
but I didn't think they were capable of learning
and remembering to the extent you will see
in this video!
If you've been following our Golden Empire
for awhile, you will surely be impressed with
how they now deal with food placed into their
territories!
Also, a lot of you have been asking for an
update on the praying mantis that we added
a couple months ago into this terrarium in
attempts to control the ants' population?
Well, this week, we update you on that as
well as other inhabitants of the Hacienda
Del Dorado, and even make a crazy discovery:
a cool, massive hideout the Golden Empire
has been secretly working on without us knowing!
Ant intelligence will astound you today, and
I promise you won't want to miss any of it,
so keep on watching until the end.
Gather 'round, AC Family and let's marvel
at how evolved the collective colony mind
of our Golden Empire has become, as we take
a tour of the new Hacienda Del Dorado, in
this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel.
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Welcome to the AC Family.
Tired of nature cannels not showing nature
shows?
Just watch this channel.
Enjoy.
Of all our creations on this channel, none
are as impressive as our Hacienda Del Dorado,
a world which is home to our Golden Empire,
and a booming community of plants and animals.
It's amazing to think that this 75 gallon
terrarium which used to look like this, has
grown and taken on a life of its own.
If you look at a single spot, you will notice
that this place is in fact home to a variety
of neat creatures.
Let's have a look.
If we take a moment to stare here, we will
find not only ants, but baby millipedes, which
were born from adults we introduced a few
months back to feed on and control our plants.
By the way, AC Family, please take the time
to vote for an official name for this population
of millipedes by voting on this ipoll here.
These were my Top 5 name suggestions from
you the AC Family from a past video!
We also see Springtails, a colony which you
have called the Springcleaners which live
cooperatively with the ants as they feed on
the ants' garbage, and hey, this is new!
Check it out, AC Family.
We also have woodlice in here!
Woah!
That is awesome.
Woodlice are small crustaceans belonging to
the Order Isopoda, and they feed mostly on
decaying plant matter.
They would definitely be a helpful creature
in these territories because they eat and
break down wilted leaves or fallen cuttings
from the plants I trim.
I have no idea how woodlice ended up in the
Hacienda Del Dorado, but it is super cool
to see that they have established themselves
here.
Leave your suggested names for the woodlice
in the comments!
We'll vote on a name in a future video.
But of course, the coolest animals to watch
in the Hacienda Del Dorado are our yellow
crazy ants, the Golden Empire, whose workers
scramble about non-stop to and frow working
around the clock, constructing and repairing
the nest, delivering messages, caring and
transporting the young, and searching for
food.
And
how timely, as it's now feeding time.
This colony is amazing to watch eat, but this
time, they show some pretty amazing strategies
at handling their large prey items.
It seems the ants have learned from experience!
Let's watch what happens when I place a precrushed
cockroach into the terrarium here.
Workers of the Golden Empire begin to swarm
the cockroach, but what's amazing is the ants
do not enter panic mode like they used to
at feeding time.
In the past, the ants used to go into a sort
of feeding frenzy, biting and spraying formic
acid on any prey falling into their clutches.
But now, it seems the ants have learned from
past experience of previous feedings that
these precrushed cockroaches are nothing to
panic too much over.
Now the ants' focus seems to be less on subduing
these precrused cockroaches and more on strategy.
This is totally awesome that the ants have
matured in their understanding of prey management
over time, and know now when to expend their
valuable energy.
What you're about to see next, AC Family will
truly blow your mind.
Let's watch what the Golden Empire does next
with this roach.
Although the cockroach is pre-crushed and
split at the abdomen, it is still capable
of movement due to the roach's ganglia, or
brain centers being distributed down the center
of its body.
Since the ganglia are still in tact, the legs
and breathing functions in the roach are still
operable.
More ants in the immediate area are notified
of the presence of the roach, and more workers
are called to the site for more help and ant
power.
The cockroach kicks and moves as the ants
continue to swarm, but instead of becoming
triggered and fighting back, the ants cleverly
use this kicking to their advantage.
As if they'd done this many times before,
the workers carefully and swiftly begin to
dig at the earth below the cocroach, to widen
the tunnels of their nest.
Ants start to carry pieces of soil out from
beneath the kicking cockroach.
Check out their amazing execution.
Eventually, with a wider entrance, and the
ants guiding the kicking cockroach down a
carefully calculated slope, the cockroach
slides right into one of the Golden Empire's
nest chambers, where the ants are then able
to further break down and feed on the cockroach
without having to worry about other predators
stealing their bounty.
Isn't that just incredible?
The way these ants dealt with this cockroach
is just utter genius.
The collective intelligence of ants is truly
mind-blowing, but what's interesting to me
here is that the ants have seemed to have
learned to keep a cool head during this entire
process!
They don't go crazy at feeding time anymore.
Would you see this as evidence of ant learning?
Now a lot of you have been asking about what
happened to the praying mantis we added a
couple months ago as a population control
agent for the Golden Empire.
Well, the last time I saw the mantis was a
few weeks ago.
It seems to be really good at hiding within
the foliage of the terrarium.
Let's have a look around now.
The
plant life in the Hacienda Del Dorado is just
amazing and makes it hard to locate our mantis!
I couldn't see it, but did you?
Time and time again, your eyes prove to be
better than mine so if you spotted her in
this video let me know in the comments along
with a time stamp so we can all see!
Among all the other plants, the ficus truly
is winning in the competition for survival.
Sadly, though, it seems it has successfully
outcompeted other plants we placed in here.
Take our carnivorous pitcher plants for instance
which we planted a few months back, also as
an attempt to control our Golden Empire's
population.
Despite dilligently providing it with light
and distilled water, it seems both pitcher
plants failed to survive.
I don't know if it was the ficus choking it
of essential light and water or if it was
the ant colony constantly mining the soil
beneath it, but the carnivorous plants now
exist as brown wilted dying plant sticks.
As I looked around some more for evidence
of the mantis, I came across a space I never
thought to check for the longest time.
The west side of Hacienda Del Dorado, lay
shrouded in darkness beneath the dense climbing
carpet of ficus.
I was surprised to see this darkened area,
as initially when the ficus wasn't so space
monopolizing, this area was exposed to the
outside, but looking into this dark spot now,
I was surprised to discover this.
Wow!
It was a large cavity, full of ant activity.
Ants rushed around, excavating tunnels, building
ant hills, and even transporting food.
This ant here is carrying a piece of quinoa!
Yes, I feed my ants quinoa.
It seems the growing of the ficus has resulted
in a neat change in the environment of areas
like this, creating amazing microclimates.
This huge secret cavity has a much more stable
humidity level than other exposed parts of
the terrarium, because the overlaying plant
cover and wood, keeps all that awesome humidity
inside this cavernous area.
It is no surprise, the Golden Empire has taken
advantage of this huge climate-controled space,
and I wouldn't be surprised if our 8 queens
also lived here.
Perhaps the ants have made this VIP territory.
I wonder how many other secret chambers like
this exist within the Hacienda Del Dorado?
For sure under all this ficus there are other
secret spaces laying hidden from our view.
Speaking of being hidden from view, it seems
our mantis is nowhere to be found.
So this could mean one of three things.
First, the ants may have ultimately eaten
our mantis.
I am surprised I haven't seen remnants of
her exoskeleton anywhere, though.
They usually pile that stuff in the colony's
garbage sites.
Two, our mantis could be still hiding here
somewhere and we just can't spot her.
Or three and this is probably the most likely,
our mantis might have taken advantage of periods
when my house keeper was cleaning the terrarium
and the top was left open.
Perhaps the nimble mantis jumped out and managed
to escape through my open windows.
If I do manage to see her again, though, I
will surely let you guys know.
Now meat and blood-thirstiness isn't all I
associate our Golden Empire with.
These Yellow Crazy ants also have quite the
sweet tooth, and it's time to give them their
bi-weekly supply of honey.
Placing a small honey jar here.
As was seen with their reaction to the cockroach,
it seems the ants have grown used to these
regular honey jar offerings, and though they
used to go crazy with honey before, now they're
much more chill.
It was clear that there was no need to rush.
Perhaps they have learned to trust that every
4 days or so, there would be a new jar of
honey placed here.
Watch them gather rather calmly around to
feed on honey.
Some ants get stuck in the honey but don't
worry.
This honey jar gets consumed in less than
24 hours and all trapped ants simply have
to wait for the jar to be done in order to
be freed.
It's pretty funny.
Imagine being an ant and getting stuck there
and thinking, Oh boy!
Now I gotta wait.
Hehe.
Observing these every day happenings of the
Hacienda Del Dorado and watching how it amazingly
evolves over time is the most rewarding thing
about owning a terrarium like this, and I
love updating you guys on its progress.
But the only concern I have now is this: do
you think these ants are growing too much
in routine?
I mean, ants in the wild are always contending
with different elements, dangers, and events,
and I feel these ants have grown so used to
their regular feedings and happenings that
the ants may soon become sedentary, for their
species anyway.
Yellow Crazy ants are known to be savage,
conquerers of lands.
Do you think the Golden Empire needs more
enrichment?
Do you think they're a bit too comfortable
now?
Should we be keeping them more on their toes,
so to speak?
What would you suggest we do to help enrich
them behaviourally?
What should our next Hacienda Del Dorado event
be?
Let me know in the comments section, AC Family,
and perhaps your suggestion might be chosen
as the next life event for the Golden Empire.
Thank you for watching, guys, and don't forget
to give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed
it, leave me a comment with your thoughts,
and also of course subscribe and hit the bell
icon to keep on watching these neat ant nature
videos!
Until next week, AC Family, it's ant love
forever!
Alright, AC Family!
Isn't the Golden Empire such a cool ant colony?
Did you enjoy this week's episode?
AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here if you would just like to watch
some extended play footage of the Golden Empire's
activities in the Hacienda Del Dorado.
And now it's time for the AC Question of the
Week.
Last week we asked:
How do live ant exhibits in museums and zoos
help ants, humans, and the environment?
Congratulations to Marco De Santi who correctly
answered:
A setup like this provides a rare opportunity
to observe and learn about a foreign ant
colony, and at the same time learn about their
environment, and why conservation and protection
of such species and their habitats is so vital
for
the good of the planet.
Congratulations Marco you just won a free
ant t-shirt from our shop!
In this week's AC Question of the Week, we
ask:
What is the name of the order
to which woodlice belong?
Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ebook handbook from
our shop!
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It's ant love forever!