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The longest, most brutal wars on Earth are fought on ant-sized scales

While you might fancy yourself far superior to the insects you inevitably crush underfoot, humans and ants have a humbling amount in common. Our similarities include complex societies, intricate divisions of labour, evolutionary success and a penchant for warfare. Indeed, when it comes to the last point, you could imagine some ant species viewing humans as mere amateurs. This first instalment of the series The World War of the Ants from the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt (German for ‘In a Nutshell’) goes a long way towards explaining why. Focusing on the nomadic, raiding insects belonging to the genus Eciton – commonly (and fittingly) known as ‘army ants’ – the animation details how these creatures evolved over millions of years to become some of nature’s most brutally effective war machines.

Video by Kurzgesagt

4 October 2019

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