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What is it Like to Be an Ant?
Ants live in a truly communal society.
Credit: Photograph © Alex Wild

Hungry? Pull up to the nearest ant in your colony and open wide — the other ant will regurgitate a drop of liquid.

Food is truly communal in this co-op, for once a morsel is introduced into your colony, before long it will be in the bellies of nearly every ant in the nest. In addition to your social stomach, you ants also seem to have a collective brain. Your sense of awareness is severely limited in comparison to the higher-level processing of the human mind. You are capable of learning and making choices (perhaps a sign of rudimentary free will), but your actions are largely controlled by chemical secretions from other ants in the colony.

Far from any monarchal might, it is a queen ant’s odor that orders other ants to their apportioned tasks. (Suggest this method to your boss next time he clogs your inbox with an office-wide email.)

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