My Pet Ants Discovered Agriculture

My Pet Ants Discovered Agriculture

Oh mg I can't believe it I think the world is pretty familiar that ants are very intelligent and resourceful creatures but this week I believe to have filmed for the very first time on this open-concept floating island and farm I've created for my cute fiddly ant colony what has to be the ultimate demonstration of ant ingenuity and imagination guys on behind my self my ants have officially discovered agriculture enjoy welcome to a Vista the floating banyan bonsai island kingdom – my pet feet dolly ant colony commonly known as big-headed ants due to the colony's huge majors born with massive heads and coinciding ly in a past video you guys voted on a name for them and the bubble heads came out on top so these ants from here on in shall be called the bubble heads but a sea family this week I seriously couldn't believe my eyes when pretty much out of nowhere the bobbleheads started farming I can't wait to show you now if you're new to the channel the bubble heads here are a new super colony of fado lis ants possessing a whopping 4 Queens hidden deep within the fortified Royal chambers in the rich soils of a Vista now I have got to say the colony has been eating a lot over the past few weeks this made perfect sense because with four egg-laying Queens each pumping out eggs the ants needed all the nourishment they could get to feed their explosive and population here was last night's meal half a cockroach where the remaining scraps of meat were being worked on by a few workers as well as their bustling detritivores friends springtails whom we call the spring cleaners the spring cleaners have been excellent at scavenging what leftovers the bubbleheads couldn't get in or chose to leave behind but as I was watching the ants and sprinkling or stealing with this roach carcass I began to notice some of the bobbleheads strangely interested in something above climbing the great tree of wisdom how peculiar peculiar because I've always known the ants to be ground Weller's rarely ever climbing to the treetops AC family have a look and that's when I saw it the bobbleheads were farming mealybugs oMG I could not believe it alright so if you're new to ants and are wondering why this is huge is because ants have been well-documented to at times ten what are commonly called and cows essentially plant insects like aphids or mealy bugs which live in colonies parasitically on plants sucking the plant SAP and producing as a by-product this sweet secretion called honeydew and to some species events this honeydew is the nectar from the gods they love the stuff and Stroke the ant cows to stimulate them to produce more of it kind of like milking them in a way in fact many ants even go as far as protecting relocating and otherwise helping these ant cows proliferate so they can continue to collect this cherished honeydew this incredible symbiosis between ants and ant cows can actually be traced back in fossils of Dominican amber of a crow pica ants and mealy bugs from some 20 to 50 million years ago in the Miocene epoch and guys the bobbleheads have officially engaged in this ancient pact with their own colony of mealy bugs here on a vista isn't this incredible look at them what a surreal opportunity alright so I immediately had so many questions how on earth did the mealy bugs get here where the ants fall out hurting the mealy bugs ie physically transporting or guiding them around to new areas of the tree were they protecting these mealy bugs aggressively how many mealy bugs were there how fast were they breeding and finally I was wondering if by some miracle I might be able to actually film the ants collecting the honeydew from these mealy bugs so about my first question where did the mealy bugs come from upon researching mealy bugs apparently these oval fuzzy looking individuals are adult females and young but the adult males look totally different from these and have wings looking sort of like small Nets these adult males fly and mate with females of Millie bug colonies on other plants young mealybugs who by the way are actually called crawlers and adult females simply moved by crawling to new plants if needed like if their host plant dies or if they simply want to try out a new plant I highly believe a couple pregnant mealy bugs must have come with the bonsai tree or laid eggs on it shrubs and trees tend to be a mealy bug favorite and our great tree of wisdom here happens to be an ideal thriving and healthy host tree I mean look at this over the past few weeks since a Vista was created this Japanese bonsai banyan tree grew a whole new team of leaves blooming from its twining branches I was actually initially concerned that keeping a tree indoors might not be possible due to light limitations but the tree of wisdom here has proven me wrong I've been watering it well giving it as much light as I could and I can actually see that its roots have begun to extend into the foundational pillar pots below for sure a vistas very healthy and growing great tree of wisdom was providing this small colony of mealy bugs a lot of delicious tree sap thereby providing our bobble heads with a valuable source of sweet honeydew the next morning after the mealy bug discovery I revisited a Vista to look again into my surprise I found another grouping of mealy bugs just below the place I spotted the others the night before it seems there were multiple herds of ankles on this tree all tended by the ends and you could actually see the honeydew collected in their social stomachs through their semi-transparent bodies against the light how cool a sea family I really hoped we could film the mealy bugs excreting it and the ants drinking it let's keep our fingers crossed up in the tree at the original spot the ants were indeed up early still collecting honeydew and it looks like there was a group of mealy bugs living on an opposing twig that I hadn't noticed before right off the bat I could see that there were more mealy bugs here now at this first spot then there were the night before so either the mealybugs breed impossibly fast or more likely the mealybugs were being brought around the tree and planted into place by the ants or the mealy bugs were simply walking freely around the tree stationing themselves around as desired I was determined to find out but meanwhile at ground level the bobbleheads were busy with breakfast a super worm which they desperately were trying to fit into one of their holes and look at that major being oh so helpful supporting that super worm while the ants tried to figure out how they were going to fit it all through the nest entrance now you may notice some of the ants this major included carry mites which look like big sores on their body I cringe at the sight of them and I find it very uncomfortable to look at you may have noticed some on the ants from last night but I discussed in a previous video that these mites were likely at a harmless mite life stage Mullis and anus lists for retic mites not a lethal parasitic kind who are simply clinging on to the ants in hopes to find an ideal environment before transforming into their next life stage and falling off these ants have had them since their founding test tube rearing days and would have never become the big and blooming colony they are now had these body mites been the vampiric blood sucking kind I hope they eventually fall off our bobbleheads and go on to eat their regular diet of decaying organic matter speaking of which AC family this Roach carcass needs to be removed as always on the colony's garbage man let me discreetly slip in with my tweezers and joint whoops dropping it to allow some stray bobbleheads to deboard and removed oops one more ant to return to the colony every single worker counts right and then AC family I spotted something pretty amazing some ants were seizing a maggot presumably just captured from their decaying garbage this was interesting because before the ants never bothered these cleanup Avastin borne fly larvae as they helped with cleaning up their garbage gnats visiting a Vista would lay eggs on carcass leftovers and hatching maggots would eat the ant garbage to develop into adult Nets where they would then fly off from their Avista and birthplace but now it looks like the ants have changed their mind and have learned that the maggots were a valuable source of nourishment as well how neat the ants garbage attracts food sources to the island for them to catch and eat their garbage was bait for prey I suppose in this sense you could also look at this entire island of avista here as a single super organism which eats outside insects produces waste and drinks water mind-blowing stuff alright and now that I mentioned it it's time for us to assume the role of rain cloud and provide some water to the inhabitants of a Vista I always use room-temperature bottled water when offering my ants their h2o as I am always super paranoid that chlorine and other such chemicals from tap water could harm the ants now watch what happens every time it rains on a Vista at the onset of water entering the nest the bobbleheads immediately mobilize and start to bring the brood kept in the most shallow chambers out of the nest to drier Ariens eggs larvae and pupae from their shallower nest areas are all carried outside where it is dry the Queens and young located deeper in the nest are brought deeper into their underground fortress where it is dry if these ever fill up with water the entire colony would be flooded out and surface but they rarely do this because truth is having the young and Queens outside in the open like this is very risky as it makes them vulnerable to predators and the elements so the ants quickly decide on a plan of action and this time decide on a backup space somewhere over this rock Boulder the ants act quickly to transport all the young to this drier holding space I find it so amazing how ants can collectively make very quick critical decisions and execute these plans with great speed what makes it all even more crazy as they communicate their plans entirely through pheromones bio chemicals which make up their whole ant line amazing to think that amidst all the confusion and franticness of the rain it only took one ad to release pheromones indicating it knew a safe dry place to move the brood before all other ants decided to join in on this ants proposed campaign and start this mass movement of the brood I don't know about you but had this been a group of humans in this situation only capable of simple audible communication like yelling at each other I doubt they would have been able to act as swiftly and in sync now in case you were concerned about the ants having to always deal with these frequent watering events the important thing to keep in mind is that the water is vital to the well-being of the ants and the entire system here on a Vista the ants and all inhabitants need to drink the moisture helps hold soil together to support the tunnels and chambers of the bubbleheads nest and the colony's young require the humidity the water also feeds the tree of course which we now know goes on to provide sustenance to these newly discovered mealy bugs which feed our ants the water makes its way down into a Vista soil filled foundational pillars into which I do see the ants have begun to burrow as well as sprinklers and somewhere within the nest the ants have a designated bathroom area or to where they poop and recent research supports that plants are fertilized by an poop so I'm sure the great tree of wisdom is happy that the ants are around providing some fresh nourishing and poop all the time the trees roots eat this ant poop with the help of water SOI see family as you can see water is vital and ties all of a vistas organisms together what is kept completely dry though is the ivory rock border of the island as well as the glass floor this is purposely done as it was supposed to discourage the ants from frequenting these dry dead spaces and oh look the ants have decided to start moving the brood back into the nest from their temporary brood cache I guess all nest areas are clear of water now and it's back to regular programming I just love how busy and invested these ants are all the time and ensuring the good of the colony aren't they just the cutest AC family by the way providing food taking up the trash and watering aren't the only chores I have to do to maintain a Vista I also take the time to readjust the wire braces to ensure the banyan tree grows into an ideal shape and within a desired space as the tree grows they're much better all right ac family now back to the ant cows I checked the mealy bug herds after repositioning the branches and turns out they were still stationed in place but the ants had been spooked and abandoned their cows I guess in their minds my giant hands weren't worth sticking around to defend their honeydew sources but I waited and it wasn't long before the ant cow tending ants came climbing back up the tree to return to their stations to continue milking their livestock they weren't going to let a pair of flimsy giant hands keep them from their god-given nectar the ants checked each herd careful now I see family are you ready for this the moment we all were waiting for what I feel next was truly an utter dream come true yep you guessed it I finally got to film the ants collecting honeydew from their mealy bugs check this out at first I thought I caught a mealy bug excreting honeydew here and the ant came to collect him but I didn't quite get a good view of it I switched my camera angle and then I thought I saw an ant with a droplet of liquid in its mouth I believe I may have missed the process and then I noticed this mealy bug here kind of lifting its back end and producing a drunk that ooh shot out before the ant could find it Wow did you just see that it seems the ants need a bit of luck and some attentive antenna if they were to collect this yummy mealy bug by-product which the mealy bugs clearly weren't willing to keep around I also noticed a mealy bug from an opposing branch shooting out some honeydew guys what's real crazy about all this all this action is happening on such a tiny scale I was unable to see what was actually going on through my camera display until I could review the video files and zoom in during editing of this 4k footage it just looked to me like some ants hovering uneventful over some mealy bugs it's amazing how much we miss with the naked eye just because we're so big anyway another mealy bug is lifting its butt go get it end and oh it shot out a moment too soon another missed opportunity based on this hit or miss method now I wondered if the ants were actually milking the mealy bugs as research had formerly suggested and not just simply trying to feel and smell which mealy bugs were basically gonna blow and finally AC family after patiently waiting and filming one of the mealy bugs produced a drop of honeydew and success the ant stopped to drink the tasty liquid treat one insects by-product is another insects food we did it we got to see it that was just amazing right so after drinking enough honeydew to fill their social stomachs the fully filled ants made their way down the tree and into their nest to share their collected honeydew with the rest of the colony through mouth to mouth transfer a process called truffle exes it was just amazing to think that the ants were acquiring nourishment from an additional food source and who would have ever thought that the ants would wander into the trees and have the idea of drinking this honeydew squirting out from these mealy bugs butts nobody taught them this they just discovered it on their own they discovered farming I continued to film the ants well into the night and it seemed the honeydew collection operations did not stop the night shift workers were out still collecting and here is more one-of-a-kind mind-blowing footage of this intimate honeydew feeding behavior of these ends check ammo when even full-out took a droplet of honeydew home the ants continued to miss a few timers however often coming really close but check this out AC family watch this mini bug shooting a drop of honey D which hit the opposing twig and look the ants did not pass up the opportunity to drink it up how neat I guess this was another effective tactic for honeydew collection five-second rule perhaps these projectile honeydew droplets weren't as good as drinking it fresh from the mealybugs body who knows and hey will you lookie here it's a mealy bug actually walking ok so I guess this solves the mystery of whether or not the ants were responsible at choosing where the mealy bugs were stationed it seems the mealy bugs choose where to hang out and drink the tree sap and the ants just follow AC family these and cows are free-range how bright but having all this honeydew producing free-range livestock around does also make it easy for moochers to take advantage it looks like we have a visitor now I wondered if this was a male mealy bug or a legit napped attempting to drink up the honeydew I guess the latter based on photos I watched it attempt to inch closer to the mealy bugs where the ants going to defend their ant cows from this wolf-like stealthy gnat the gnat approached the mealy bug herd and bam the ant scared it away and the net was gone in so AC family there you have it our bobble heads have figured out how to farm food produced from another organism and through all of this I learned that it's actually not as simple and straightforward as ants just easily milking some ant cows as I initially imagined it's actually quite an involved process of technique and tactics but the whole idea that ants managed to pull off such an intrinsically human activity like agriculture is quite mind-blowing to me or perhaps it isn't the ants that are pulling off an intrinsically human activity but us that are pulling off an intrinsically ant activity they after all farmed first geologically time scaley speaking overall I love being able to witness the interesting evolution of the floating island of avista I can't help but feel like we're celestial beings creators of these worlds witnessing the development and evolution of a planet and its population of inhabitants I wonder what's next for these ants I do hope these ants can work out some kind of sustainable farming solution though because if these mealy bugs completely take over this bonsai tree and kill it who knows what that would mean for the entire island of a Vista I'll just assume the ants have it all figured out since they've lasted millions of years longer than we have doing it speaking of which I wonder how good of a job we're doing with our plans of sustainable farming on our floating island Acey family what did you think did you enjoy this week's episode I truly love how the bobbleheads and the vista are developing and other than a faretta quite problem I foresee that the ants are well on their way to success and when they outgrow this floating island of a vista here I plan on connecting another floating island using a bridge until the bobbleheads and kingdom of a vista is an impressive arja pellicle of multiple connected floating islands wouldn't that just be so cool I'll continue to update you guys so be sure to hit that subscribe button and bail icon now so you don't miss out on this continuing ant story and hit the like button every single time including now and if you're new to the channel and want to catch up on all your aunt Canada lore feel free to binge watch this complete storyline playlist here which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room so you can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdom's came to be and why we love them so much AC inter colony I have left a hidden cookie for you here if you just like to watch some extended play footage of the ants drinking honey dude there is so much that I think you guys can catch from the footage that I may have missed so do check it out and before we proceed to the AC question of the week I'd like to plug my daily vlogging Channel daily vlogs of my travels around the world which often includes a lot of nature stuff so do check it out and now it's time for the AC question of the week last week we asked why was the death of the guppy gang actually beneficial to the Selva to FICO and its inhabitants congratulations to shiny Piplup who correctly answered they were pleasing to the eye but weren't doing their intended job of controlling the ant population and causing a lot of excess waste congratulations shiny Piplup you just won a free ebook handbook from our shop in this week's a/c question of the week we asked they one neat fact you learned about mealybugs in this video leave your answer in the comment section and you can also win a free ebook handbook from our shop hope you can subscribe to the channel as we upload every saturday at 8 a.m. East Standard Time please remember to Like comment share and subscribe if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more it sent love forever

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20 thoughts on “My Pet Ants Discovered Agriculture

  1. I never knew that mealybugs were also a source of honeydew for ants. I've always herd (get it) of ants farming aphids, but never mealybugs. In fact this is the first I've heard of them. That being said literally all the info was new and fascinating to me. The millions of years of symbiosis, to the face that males and females take on such different forms.

  2. 💖🐜🌸I think you're amazing 😃 I just discovered your videos today and already watched so many. I love how scientific, fun and interesting you make everything. You're extremely knowledgeable on what you do. Thank you for including people like me. Girl from the UK… 🌸

  3. How much money do you make every month from the views and subscriptions of your videos ? I reckon you make tens of thousands of dollars for a video that hit millions of views. That's good money!!

  4. Ants Canada intro is always soothing to my ears when I'm getting ready to lay down and watch some videos

  5. 10:10 Had to check everything on my computer trying to figure out where that trap beat was coming from didn't seem to fit lol

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