Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pheromone, the scent that ants leave behind.


3 days ago, I came back to clean my quarters as school reopens the next day.  We were greeted by many dead carcasses of cicadas, lizard's poo and ... ants. Yes, Kapit is surrounded by nature and the insects here are in giant sizes.  I remember we had a hard time finding butterflies as specimens back in the city; but here, you can see them daily on the staircase.

Anyway, why do ants walk in a line? 

Ants are social insects. They live in big colonies and have a very organised social life. Red ants make their nests inside the walls of our houses. They generally travel large distances in search for food. In absence of any maps or navigation aids, they have to rely on other mechanisms to find their way around.

Scenting their way

As they walk the ants leave behind a scent that they use to trace their way back to their nests just as in the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, the children left a trail of pebbles to find their way home from the jungle. The scent that the ants leave behind is called pheromone. The ants walk in a line because they follow the scent left behind by the leader. 




Even the bible says we should be as hardworking as ants. Right now, I am supervising my debaters.  All 5 of them are independent learners and I do hope they will win for the upcoming competition at the district level, SMK Belaga.  5 hours express boat journey from Kapit, geez, heard that we will be passing by Wong Pelagus. This river rapid has caught the attention of foreign tourists as well as gobbled up human lives. This will be my first time bringing students out of the school compound, pray for journey mercy.

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