Mar 19 2012

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Hot balls!

(via NatGeo)

(Also on Sb)


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  1. 1
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I once had that happen to a roast beef sandwich while at a forest fire in Oregon.

    No, I did not eat the sandwich.

  2. 2

    There is more. Look on Youtube for “hornets vs bees”.

  3. 3

    Note to self: Don’t fuck with the Japanese honey bee.

  4. 4

    This is also why Senator Tom Harkin will only appear via video at the Reason Rally. We all know what happens when Athiests swarm!!

  5. 5
    Reginald Selkirk

    National Geographic? They have no standards. Check out their March 2012 issue for a lengthy article with abysmal standards on the Christian apostles.

  6. 6

    OK, I take conceptual shortcuts. Sue me.
    I see a parallel here to the swarming of the devout in an attempt to protect their cherished memeplex against intellectual invaders.
    Religion is a large self replicating cultural organism. The best play of its members (stupid people) who are incapable of individually protecting themselves against scientific attack is to gang together under a (wrong but) consistent banner. It’s also the best play of the organism (hive/religion).
    The battle is fun to watch, but I’m not yet making bets on the outcome. Science takes LOTS more effort and equipment than religion and has yet to show more than a couple of hundred years of success. Religion has been semi-stable for millenia.

  7. 7

    I was working in the field, counting forging trips made by Polybia workers (small paper wasps), when a robber fly got to close to the nest. The fly was easily over an inch, while the wasps were a little less than 1/2 inch. But the wasps swarmed the fly. And spent the next ten minutes slowly ripping the fly apart.

    The next day I watch a group of Crematogaster ants (less than a 1/4 of an inch) swarm and kill of an entire Polybia colony.

  8. 8

    What I always find particularly interesting about this hornet vs bee interaction is how European honeybees are decimated by the hornets. I always found the heat ball defense a particularly ingenious method of defense. It is rare to find examples of introduced species being completely screwed over by the native species and this is definitely the most powerful example.

  9. 9
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    These are scary. Squirmy, shivery, shockingly, viscerally terrifying. I wonder if #6 julial’s analysis has anything to do with that reaction? Brrrrrr!

  10. 10
    A. R


  11. 11
    chigau (違う)

    Now that is how it should be done.
    If WE™ were really a Hivemind…

  12. 12
    Glen Davidson

    It’s the triumph of hyper communication and the queen bee’s telepathy!

    Funny how they just use thermal energy to kill the intruder. Their laser weapons must be out for maintenance or something.

    Glen Davidson

  13. 13

    The Bee Collective will assimilate you. Resistance is futile.

  14. 14
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Creepy. I just killed a hornet about half an hour ago. IN MY APARTMENT. O.O

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