Ants – small brains, formidable organisation!

“The trouble with human beings is that, even when they are broadly committed to an organisation’s aims, they still have their own personal interests and agendas”

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

This may be the most chilling organisational behaviour post you read this week. For a change, the stars of the show are not humans; they’re ants.

I’ve been fascinated by ants ever since I was a kid. My friends and I spent many a happy hour stirring up ants’ nests during the long summer holidays, just to see what they did.

Along with humans, ants are among the few creatures that farm, herd other animals and build cities. On the darker side, they also wage war and take slaves. Last week, I came across a fascinating blog by ant experts. This post tells the story of a battle between two ants’ nests; an attack by the aggressive, blood-red coloured Formica Sanguinea on another species, the Rufa, or wood ants.

Two things interested me about this, firstly the level of organisation and, secondly, the Sanguinea’s use of ants…

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