Neighborhood Science

science under the stars tree
7:30 PM
Wednesday
December 4, 2019
Howson Branch
2500 Exposition Blvd.
512-974-8800
Neighborhood Science
Clash of the Myrmidons

Neighborhood Science is presented in partnership with the University of Texas’ Science Under the Stars. Join us for interesting and thought-provoking talks from UT graduate students.

Clash of the Myrmidons

Speaker: Tristan Kubik

The Amazon rainforest is home to two unexpected titans. Leafcutter ants are peaceful, sedentary farmers responsible for processing huge volumes of tropical vegetation. They use their foraging material to cultivate obligate, fungal nurseries that cradle precious brood deep within their subterranean fortresses. Few organisms are courageous or capable enough to threaten mature leafcutter colonies, but the tank army ant is one of them. Tank army ants are nomadic, subterranean ant-killing machines. Their colonies can reach as many as several million and their hunger for leafcutters is insatiable. They flush out and overwhelm kilograms of prey every day with their numbers, mandibles, and venomous stings. And yet, leafcutter nests are not without defenses. Leafcutter colonies rapidly mount impressive responses to the alarming presence of tank army ant scouts including specialized soldiers, construction of barricades, and air-tight linear battlefronts. These two large, complex, derived societies clash in epic battles akin to the wars waged long ago by the Greeks and Romans with heroes just as notable as Hercules and Achilles. Such examples of social conflict are of great interest to systems science and parallels can be drawn to instances of immune systems vs disease, competing economies, and even human warfare. Join me for a night of bravery, sacrifice, and storytelling as I share my passion and knowledge about this riveting rivalry!

Library programs and workshops reflect the creative endeavors and diverse interests of the Austin community.

Library programs and workshops reflect the creative endeavors and diverse interests of the Austin community.
7:30 PM
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Howson Branch
512-974-8800 | 2500 Exposition Blvd.
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The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. For assistance please call 512-974-7449.

Free and open to the public | Gratis y abierto al público

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