Tony Stark (to Thor): Doth Mother know you weareth her drapes?
Won lots of stuff...
Especially some of the tropical species. I saw this most excellent documentary about a tribe in Africa that had termite problems. No smoke or pesticides could solve their issue as the bugs kept returning strong in number and eating away the meager village homes. So the town elder sent his grandkids into jungle to look for a ant mound. He had them rub some plant ointment on their skin to protect from getting bit and also told them to smoke and blow on the ants before collecting a enough of them to come back home. Like most kids they never follow instructions right and they ran home with only a large leaf dotted with the fireants. The rest had been dropped or left along the way as the kids ran home. The old man thought there were not enough ants to do the job, but still set them loose on the most infected house.
He was wrong.
What few ants survived the children's handling quickly and instinctively organized and began plowing into the enemy. Now termites are no slouches, with warrior breeds within their own colonies and teeth that tear through strong wood, but they were no match for the ants. Think of Viking hordes plunging through and killing middle school children.
The ants attacked with:
- sophisticated tactics (searching for weaknesses on the termite flanks),
- knowledge of their terrain (set out a few defenders of their own to block big tunnels and to funnel the termite masses out of small holes that they could kill anything that comes out of them with ease)
- courage (big red warriors went charging into the termite egg compound with a buddy on their backs, with termite warriors clinging and biting at their legs. The suicide run allowed the warrior ant on the back plunge into the eggs and begin decimating the unborns, forcing the termites to stop attacking and start putting energy into trying to pull out as many of their eggs as they could
With no choice left, the termites around the massive queen termite tore her from her egg sac (think the Xenomorph Queen in Aliens) and dragged her to safety. The few termites that did stay brought down the chamber on top of themselves and the ants, hoping their dead mass would be enough to block out marauding ants. It did, but it brought the queen to the surface, where the old man was waiting.
And this was only a handful of ants that took out a colony of termites. I doubt the spiders would be able to kill so quickly.
When criminals want to scare one another they tell each other Joker stories.
On Spiders vs ants though, what stops the spiders ffrom taking to the air on their webs and dangling above the ants / Nothing I believe. From there, all the funnel spiders (or whichever one can actually shoot webs and I know there is one) trapss the ants. Once the ants are trapped by the webs, there is no escape for them. But, to give the spiders a better chance, what if we included those not from our time ? I assume there are species of large spiders or something from prehistoric times...
Last edited by Becoming An Anthropologist; 06-30-2009 at 09:11 AM.
Nothing tried is worse than nothing gained.
Also, how do they 'take to the air'? This is the arena. Spiders can't fly, and neither can they shoot webs around like tow-lines. :) Some small species can balloon, but that depends on wind, they have to start from a high place, and they can't do anything while ballooning. Eventually they hit a wall - a wall where the ants are already swarming.
So the (comparatively few) spiders that can shoot webs (over an extremely short distance - we're talking less than a foot, not firing at something a few meters away because spiders simply can't SEE that far unless they're jumping spiders, and nor can they spit webs that far) scurry up a wall and turn around, only to find the ants scurrying up the wall after them. They hack up a few blobs of web, catch a dozen ants each, then get mobbed.
It's not a winning strategy.
The important points -
1. The spiders are massively outnumbered. We're not talking 10:1 or 100:1. We're talking 1000, 10 000 (or more) to 1.
2. The spiders cannot build webs quickly enough. They also cannot create webbing that quickly. And the web-barfing spiders are still grotesquely outnumbered by the ants, and will get swarmed.
3. There is nowhere the spiders can go that the ants cannot go equally quickly.
4. Tactically speaking, even by giving spiders cooperation we're grossly overestimating them. Spiders are canniballistic - the vast majority of them are solitary predators who have a grand old time eating each other if the opportunity permits. Ants, on the other hand, consistently demonstrate the ability to work together...tactically.
If we're sporting spiders the ability to get along sufficiently so as to not kill each other while fighting the ants, I assume we're sporting the ants the same, colony by colony.
Do we then include the species of ants from prehistoric times as well? Still a stomp.But, to give the spiders a better chance, what if we included those not from our time ? I assume there are species of large spiders or something from prehistoric times...
Oh, and I agree - interesting thread. :D
In an arena setting, there is no species of animal capable of taking on the entire ant species and winning. Not our 6 billion humans. Not the elephants or the bees or the birds. Not even the ant eaters.