I can’t tell what my favorite part is, but it’s either
- scientists wasting budget and time to see if ants count their steps
- the idea to put ants on stilts
- there had to be a guy who made ant stilts and put them on the ants
- confused ants
OR E. All of the above.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE!
THEY PUT LITTLE GLASSES ON MANTIDS
Here is the BEE INSOMNIATOR.
They put MAGNETS ON BEES and WIGGLED THEM TO KEEP THEM AWAKE
Well they put SNAKES IN LITTLE SHIRTS to find out!
SHRIMPS ON A TREADMILL
biology is the greatest
bad and naughty children get put into the bee wiggler to atone for their sins
The best thing about the ant one is that somebody clearly was like “Oh well ants probably count their steps” and that was just like… a thought that came into their head.
THE BEE WIGGLER
This demonstrates that discovery requires madness.
gravity was discovered because Newton just so happened to have an apple fall on his napping ass what do you think science is
This is a cool post but AAAH I need to talk about the ants.
>somebody clearly was like “Oh well ants probably count their steps” and that was just like… a thought that came into their head.
Not just any ants–desert ants! See, most ants lay down scent trails to find their way around. But in the desert the damn ground blows away constantly. So how do desert ants find their way around? Maybe they count.
>scientists wasting budget and time to see if ants count their steps
Okay but like. Ants can count. Ants have teeny teeny tiny brains and they can count. Do you know how teeny an ant brain is? Because I have spent time dissecting them out and let me tell you it is one of the most ridiculous occupations I have ever engaged in. They are like period sized. <–these things here at either end–>.
And the really cool thing about finding out that a teeny tiny brain can do a thing, is that the brains are simple enough that we actually might have a shot at figuring out precisely how they efficiently encode the ability to count. And then we can apply that to things like math and computers and living human brains, which we aren’t allowed to dissect very much because reasons.
Also, this was an awesomely clever experiment because do you want to know the budget for gluing stilts on ants to see what happens? Really small. Like ant brains.
>there had to be a guy who made ant stilts and put them on the ants
Their names were Matthias Wittlinger, Rudiger Wehner, and Harald Wolf, and the stilts were boar hairs! Also there was a second part of the experiment where they trimmed the ant legs to make them take shorter steps, but no one ever talks about that part because it’s less cute and more morbid. :O (It’s… slightly less morbid when you know this kind of thing happens naturally to ants with age and high temperatures. Life is hard for ants. But they are excellent at counting.)
I know right?
Okay now I want you to talk about the mantis glasses and the bee wiggler.
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