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Slavery Rife Among Lake Tahoe's Ant Colonies

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Uploaded on Oct 22, 2010

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/10/06/Civilizatio...

If you thought humans were the only species with a track record of enslavement, think again. Polygerus breviceps ("slave-making ants") build their labor force by stealing the pupa of other species, says entomologist Mark Moffett.

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Can human beings really improve our group decision making by imitating the democracy of honeybees? Are ants truly considered the highest form of insect evolution? Join Litquake and the California Academy of Sciences as they present two leading experts for a fascinating and thrilling discussion of our planet's smallest and most complex social organizations.

Moffett provides fascinating details on how ants live and how they dominate their ecosystems through strikingly human behaviors, while animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals that bees have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. - California Academy of Sciences

Contract photographer Mark Moffett has developed a career that combines science and photography, in spite of being a high school dropout. Although his family was not academic, encouraged by his parents he sought out biologists by the age of 12. Soon he became a field assistant on research projects across Latin America.

Upon completing his doctorate Moffett spent two years as curator of ants at Harvard. Still based at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, his research presently concerns insect and spider social behavior and the structure and dynamics of forest ecosystems, particularly their canopies. Recently he has been investigating canopies of the supertall coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest, for which he led (with Professor Steve Sillet of Humboldt College) the first ever ascent and study of the world's tallest tree, known as the National Geographic redwood.

In 1993 Harvard University Press published Moffett's book, The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy. Today his research and National Geographic photography are interspersed with writing and public lecturing about rain forests.

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