Warfare by Megaponera analis. A day in the life of termites and ants and what it can tell us about the importance of Earth day, science and fact based education.



Warfare by Megaponera analis.
The Science of healthy living.



They came marching in at dawn, shoulder to shoulder they formed long winding columns of wordless but well-armed soldiers in gleaming dark armor that stretched as long as the eye could see. 500 men passed us by with the rising sun painting the light of this new day behind their backs. But this would not be a day of peaceful tranquility under the light of the rising sun, instead, the sun rose up from beneath the horizon as the herald of war and death in what we all knew would turn out be just another day in their relentless campaign.






4 times per day their armies marched like the well-oiled clockwork they were, through the gates they lay claim to the outside of their walled-in home and fortified trenches, they did so in what looked like endless and orderly dark lines stretching across the abandoned path that continued down the lake and the daisies meadow, 4 times per day they came for us with horns and drums playing out loud as they kept a beautiful but terrifying order, marching wordless to the beat of the drum.







And 4 times per day once the carnage had subdued, once the soundless dead had stopped moving, they would leave their own dead behind them as if they meant nothing to their former friends, now that the force of life had been snuffed out.
In their world of logical thinking and nature's relentless progress and never ending adapting evolution there was no point in spending time on mourning those who had died, you did so by continuing to live in the best way possible, that was how you best honored the dead.
And really, when you think about it, they were of course, absolutely right.











music of the day while you are reading our article
Flesh coffin by Lorna Shore












The dead do not need mourning.





While they always left their own dead behind, they always took the utmost care to bring each and every one of their own wounded soldiers back home with them, abandoning no one, bringing them home together with the many dead and captured enemies that their supply lines managed to ferry back home to their city like capital.









Once back home they would nurse and rest up their wounded soldiers, providing them the very best healthcare and nutrition, rest and sleep that would allow them to recover and heal to the point where they would once again be able to march with their comrades against us. As for our own unfortunate dead and captured, they would feast upon them, of that, I had never had any grand illusions, and so, we tell our children of how they scavenge their flesh off of their tortured and twisted bodies, strengthening their own in the pain, and death of our losses. Transforming our lost and dead into nutritious biogenetic energy.
It was for all intent and purposes a campaign of relentless resolve. Efficient and endless in its sustainable and ingenious construction.










Kill, hunt and recover, this was the rhythm that was stuck on endless repeat and it would never, ever cease to be, in some ways that certainty and the absolute way they went about executing it day in and day out was as beautiful as it was utmost terrifying. An entire society, advanced and ever evolving, primed with a focus that made each individual as strong as their collected entity, all for one, and one for all in a way that a tiny few advanced species and societies had ever come close to mastering to the same kind of level.
This cycle was the daily life and struggle in the year 4.5 billion, and this was just the way life was for us termites on planet Earth, the planet of the ants.
Endless warfare caught inside a hailstorm of nature's beauty and every day it started brand new.


















The Science
[ Megaponera analis and the science behind my semi fictional day in the life of endless warfare and life between ants and termites. ]













A recently published study in Science Advances 12 Apr 2017 gives us a fact based glimpse into the daily cycle of warfare and healthcare as the Ant species Megaponera analis carries it out, in what might be a first in the kingdom of ants.








At least this is the first time homo sapiens have managed to see this nursing behavior amongst ants were they intentionally set out to rescue and bring home every injured ant soldier with the intent of safely bringing injured ants back home in order to get them healed up and back out on the theater of war as soon as possible.
The reason why I call it a theater of war is because Termites and Ants truly are engaged in a campaign of war made up of equal measures of attrition and adaptation.
Providing the human race with a pretty fascinating window into the evolutionary arms race of two species.
Both of these species provide the other with a cunning predatory foe that is quick to adapt and evolve on their cross-species battlefield and equally capable at dishing out violence and building defenses.
And as such, it is perhaps not a surprise at all to see that M. Analis have decided that dividing attention and troops that make sure that the raiding party bring home every single one of their injured soldiers so society can heal them up is a pretty cost and time efficient way for the entire ant society to sustaining your army instead of having to endure unnecessarily heavy losses that would otherwise need to be sustained by starting over from scratch with the resource intensive task of first giving birth to a new soldier every time an ant get wounded and crippled and eventually die, not to mention divide precarious resources from society to feed and "train" him into a proper and experienced soldier.

















In studies, it has been shown that when M. Analis is allowed to carry through their task of helping to carry back home their injured friends they managed to bring down the mortality rate for injured soldiers down from 30+ percent to zero.
Which in turn also seem to translate into what comes out as a roughly 30% bigger ant colony compared to nests that did not make use of this search and rescue operation in their own army.

















And so, in my own peculiar way, I think that this is a pretty fascinating piece of the pie that is life that showcases us why science matters and why knowledge and ever-evolving fact-based education matters.
All aspects of a healthy life on planet Earth matters to us all, even the small stuff such as the life and war of ants and termites, and education and science are the tools that provide us all with the proper building blocks to understand and protect, enjoy and preserve that beautiful and ever changing treasure that is life on planet Earth.
And that is why Earth Day and Science, and sustainability matters, now more than ever before.
And perhaps, this time, ants and termites can even teach us the lesson of how proper care for every person matters.



You can find the complete study behind my fictional day in the life of ants and termites here. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/4/e1602187
Earth Day 2017 takes place on April 22.
Make it matter, not just on April 22 but every single day going forward.
















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Writer and photography

Mike Koontz
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

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Last Few Published Books and Articles

  • 'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree'. Here we live in the age of Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    sprouts and roots
    A healthy you, is a healthy world.
    Life in the Anthropocene.



    'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree' through the gates of life and death, and the turning of the Midgard snake.
    We walk beneath a starry sky, weaved by light and dark and obscured shades our eyes can not see.

    We melt and turn the tides of time, as we spill the soil between our fingers.
    It drips back down to where it came from, all while the ants and worms grow unseen layers of brand new soil.

  • Fitness & Health: 'Health at a Glance' is a European health report covering obesity around Europe in 2017.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes


    Health at a Glance
    A European health report 2017
    Fitness & Health.



    Health at a Glance is a European health report for 2017. And in it the United Kingdom is revealed to be Western Europes most obese nation.
    So, perhaps, fish and chips and beer just isnt the best of national food obsessions.
    Another important highlight that bounces right back at you is how obesity in the UK has increased by 92% since the 1990s ( it´s been increasing in every nation btw, but good ol England is leading the pack ).

    And since we also know by now that obesity & overweight is not just about a individual increase in body fat %, which would have been perfectly fine and all down to personal preferences in body composition and aesthetics, but instead is directly tied to a huge increase in several health issues, such as diabetes & cancer and severely decreased quality of life and longevity.

  • Anthropocene & the annual 'good country index' is back for its worldwide summary with the year 2017. And Scandinavia once again dominates.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Anthropocene
    the good country index 2017
    Life beyond 2028.



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    Sweden is followed closely by another Scandinavian country, namely Denmark, which, is no real surprise, the Nordic nations can be found at the top of the world, year after year, after year in a long range of beneficial, quality of life metrics and studies.

  • 9 million annual deaths due to worldwide pollution in air, soil, water. Life in the Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    9 million
    annual deaths due to worldwide pollution
    The art of living.



    Every year the number of people that die prematurely due to worldwide pollution keep on increasing. And right now that pollution in water, soil, air, chemical or work-related pollution is already taking the life of 9 million people around the world.

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    Mitochondria
    Health in muscles and heart.
    Life is your own art.



    New research once again showcases how exercise improves muscle health and, exercise capacity and how that positive mechanism with perpetual fitness regimes in the end greatly improves general health and longevity for each individual.
    Allowing continued fitness activity to become one of the finest predictors we have of general mortality and biological health and wellbeing in any given population and individual.
    This particular study was published in the journal Nature Communications and it digs deep down inside our bodies as it takes a long look at how exercise helps the body and mind keep healthy and strong by transforming and maintaining our body on a cellular level.

  • Anthropocene & the human health. Plastic litter in our salt, tap water, honey, fish & food. Land and soil and blood system.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    Plastic Litter
    Tap water, Sea salt & Food.
    Life in the Anthropocene.



    In Europe, 72% of all tap water contains 1.9 fibers of plastic litter per 500ml of water.
    That number increases to 94% of all tap water in the USA which contains 4.8 plastic litter fibers per 500ml of water. And worldwide 83% of all tap water contains plastic litter.
    But the issue of plastic contamination in our water is not just about tap water, nor is it, as we have previously talked about, only a concern with sea food. This is a growing man-made health issue which has been going on for a very long time and by now it is part of every aspect of society and our natural world.
    For instance, scientists found plastics in products in studies on Chinese Sea salt in 2015.

  • Anthropocene: A long form article called Indonesia

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes


    Indonesia
    17,000 islands & almost 260 million people
    Life in the Anthropocene.



    Indonesia is by all accounts one of the world's most populated nations with its soon to be 260 million strong population scattered across an astounding 17 000 islands. Another fascinating aspect of life in Indonesia is that in total its population is made up of over 300 different ethnic and linguistic groups that combined speak over 700 different languages.

  • Books & Publishing: How and where to buy or read 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'

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    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Book 1 in my mature, new adult Sci-fi universe.



    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Price: $2.99
    Print length: 147 Pages
    Publication date: August 2017
    ISBN: 9781537855714
    Read it at your local library or right here at my own 'a Norse View' library.
    Or if you so prefer you can buy it from your fav book store for 2.99US$.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 12, Running and the shock impact of each step.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes





    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 12 in our School of Fitness.
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  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 11, Let us talk about that mighty beast Deadlift and all the stuff it activates.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes





    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



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  • Book: 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'. The first book from the near future book universe 2028AD created by Mike Koontz. Mature and at times naughty storytelling and explicit events hide behind each page of this sci-fi tale. Less than 40 000 words.




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    UHD audio video book reading TBA
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    Photography, and writing by Mike Koontz
    2018, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

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