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Word Count: 852
No single insect has had a larger influence on the development of mankind than the lowly ant It has been storied throughout world literature and even in the greatest of books the Bible Proverbs 66 states Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise It is said that rose by any other name is still a rose however the story is not the same with the ant One particular species the Argentine ant or Iridomyrmex humilis or Linepithema humile has been revered for its tenacity especially in defense of the nest It is even set apart in literature in Linengen Versus the Ants This particular species is known mainly for its proliferation and aggressive behavior These ants often fight to the death when they encounter another colony and totally drive out other ant species as they proliferate It seems they are made for this barbaric behavior as they have large mandibles and a chemical weapon called iridomyr-mecin which kills enemies or at the very least forces them to retreat They also have as many as eight queens per thousand workers which makes them nearly impossible to eradicate as they reproduce at an astounding rate If all of the buildings in the world disappeared just leaving the Argentine ants in the air you could still see the outlines of the city But recently this aggressive tenacious species is becoming known for something else cooperation A supercolony or unicoloniality is an extraordinary social organization whereby individuals mix freely among physically separated nests It has been known for a while now that a supercolony of these ants exists in southern California but until recently this was thought to be one of a kind This was proved to be untrue by a group of scientists led by Laurent Keller and entomologist from the University of Switzerland It would be easy for one to understand nests cooperating within a few feet but this supercolony is
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