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Ep. 26 - Ants vs. Humans ft. Angelly Vasquez

By Jeremy Ullman

Our guest this week is Angelly Vasquez, a PhD student studying Myrmecology at McGill University! What is Myrmecology? You'll just have to listen to find out (psst the episode title might give you a hint). Topics & Concepts Complexity in Nature Interdisciplinarity The Eco-Evo-Devo Approach Myrmecology Sociobiology Eusociality Ant Altruism vs. Human Individualism The Effect of Sociality on Brain Development Across Species Superorganisms Policing & The Death of the Queen Haploid/Diploid Chromosomal Make-up Caste Systems: Morphology, Physiology, Behavior Notes: Ants are pretty much all females except for the birthing of a male once or twice a year for the purposes of mating. The workers are all female, and the male grows wings to fly away from the colony to find females elsewhere to mate with, in order to propagate that gene pool and start a new colony. The males can't breed within their own colony because they're all siblings (ants are not incestuous). The queen ant has tyrannical rule over the female workers. In an ant colony, there are no individuals, only slaves to the matriarchy. Soldiers have disproportionately large and muscular heads to support their giant crime-fighting mandibles... While humans lack extreme morphology variation, we diversify in our divison of labor.  There's so much juicy information packed into today's episode that your mandibles might expand upon listening -- you've been warned. /// Angelly is all about outreach, so feel free to reach out to her at angelly.vasquezcorrea@mail.mcgill.ca! 

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