Monday, 6 September 2010

Insect Wars

I'd just come out of watching an amazingly-shot documentary titled Insect Wars, which basically documents how empires of insects attack and defend against other empires of insects. These wars have been waged throughout the history of the animal kingdom, and the rise and fall of these empires are mere flecks in the canvas of time.

It is quite amazing how this parallels the human world so much at parts. I saw how almost every insect colony, be it winged or terrestrial, had universally common defence strategies, such as understanding that the power of an attacking threat can be reduced if you force them to invade only through small channels. I saw how ant or hornet scouts are a commonly employed tactic, and these scouts are specially designed for stealth. I saw how slavery appears to be a very common theme, as is class divides, in ensuring that a powerful kingdom runs efficiently.

And in the last segment, I saw how a 'pretender' ant infiltrated the royal chamber and killed the queen ant, covering herself in the dying queen's bodily fluids, and then emerging from the chamber flaunting her new majestic scent. The rest of the colony, unable to tell her apart from the dying queen, treated her as the queen herself, licking her feet as they prepared to receive her eggs.

Sometimes, it feels as if believing that humans are a higher order of species is getting a little too full of ourselves. We could be anthropomorphizing animals, or we could very well be behaving just like animals. History levels all its earthly subjects, as the patterns turn us into puppets and dictate the rise and fall of empires.

1 comment:

angie said...