[ExI] super soldier ants

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Jan 8 21:53:25 UTC 2012



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Kasey Anderson
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2012 11:00 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] super soldier ants


>.Well, you know, as long as it's an ant-eat-slug world, sounds like a great
idea. ;)  But you know, you get the same problem as with the pesticides.  At
least one of the slugs will survive due to some mutation, and by surviving
it will pass its genes on to the next generation of slugs.  Super ants?
Great.  Super slugs?  Ewww. :D


Ewwww,?  Kasey, why do you ewww?  It's perfect!  The real problem isn't the
bugs evolving around the countermeasures.  The real problems are the buildup
of bad stuff in the topsoil and the cost of applying it.  This solves the
heck outta both those problems.

Beasts cannot necessarily evolve their way around every countermeasure.
This might be a good example of one they couldn't really evolve around,
reasoning: there is a functional cost to having a goo layer on the skin:
slugs must absorb oxygen through that.  Since that factor would necessarily
limit their metabolism, they tend to be slow and methodical about
everything.  Thus the term sluggish.  Or if you are a fan of ancient
writings, consider Proverbs 6 verse 6:  "Go to the ant, thou sluggard;
consider her ways and be wise."

Kasey, is that cool or what?  We can go to the ant and modify her ways to
devour the slug, for which we get the term for a lazy person, the sluggard.
Of course, the bible was copied by hand repeatedly and mistakes might have
been made.  For instance, the proverb might have been written from the point
of view of the slug, and it was originally: "Goo to the ant, thou slug

But I digress.  Ohhh, this is wicked cool.

So the slug has a protective goo layer, which limits his ability to absorb
oxygen and necessarily limits his metabolism, but the ant does not, so she
runs around and works like an ant, while the slug just leaves a revolting
slime trail and moves about in a sluggish manner, while writing proverbs.  I
theorize that the slug cannot evolve a slime layer thick enough to outreach
the super ant's powerful mandibles, for that layer thickness is limited by
the necessity to pass oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.

Regarding my alternatives, I do know that copper can build up in topsoil if
you don't have the right kinds of crops to draw it back out of there (we
don't) and it is expensive.  So if I can fight slugs with ants, that would
please me greatly.  If I can avoid the cost of hiring more guys to spread
anti-slug pesticides, that would please me even more, and the salmon people
would be pleased as well.  If I can displace or chase off the other beasts
along with the slugs, that is better still.

Note to Kasey: you seem sane and smart, so I switched off your moderation
flag.  Post freely, me lass, and welcome!  Do feel free to tell us about
Kasey.  Is it OK for me to mention your highly esteemed ExI-chat relative? 




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