Defence And War Tactics
In the previous chapters we have seen that the
social order of ants is highly advanced. These hardworking, productive
and sacrificing beings have yet another feature: They defend themselves
very successfully against enemies and they use very interesting
techniques to fight for the survival of the colony.
The small size of the ant at first gives the impression
that they are defenceless. One cannot even imagine that these creatures,
which can be crushed easily by stepping on them, can achieve tasks
that seem far beyond their capacities. Yet, Allah within the unique
ecological order He has created on earth has designated their place
and has equipped them with the necessary defence mechanisms.
Allah's inspiration ants use seemingly incredible tactics and strategies
to defend their colonies and to protect themselves against the enemies
that they meet during the search for food. While developing hunting
strategies, they fight not to become a prey to others. One battle
of this type is the one between the ant colonies.
War Between Colonies
One of the most important reasons for inter-colonial
wars is the difficulty in sharing food resources. In such wars, the
ant species that first finds the food source usually wins. This is
because the discovering ants surround the food, thus preventing others
from getting at pieces of the food. They also leave their odors around,
so that members of the following colony cannot show the way by odor
While some of the workers that first
reach the food source maintain the blockade operation, another group
does not join the war immediately, preferring to return home, and
leaving odor trails. When they arrive home, they warn their nestmates
by moving their bodies back and forth, and touching the antennae
of the other ants with their own antennae. With this smart tactic,
reinforcements are gathered for the fighting workers
from ordinary sieges during the day, the ants become so aggressive
during a famine that they may destroy each other completely. One
colony may destroy another completely within 10-14 days.
Another cause of war is one colony
entering the territory of another. Ants mark their territories with
a pheromone. When another colony comes to the area, it notices this
pheromone and normally does not settle here. But if it does, this
will be a cause of war.
In such situations, for instance, weaver
ants run to the nearest leaf while leaving a secretion behind. When
they find their nestmates, they tell them about the fight by their
movements. Their mates start moving upon this invitation and travel
towards the war zone following the workers. In half an hour, more
than one hundred ants reach the arena.
In short, ant colonies lead a sophisticated
existence with their natural boundaries, security and information
systems against danger and armies that are strong enough to defend
the whole colony. To found such a system and to have the colony
members adopt the system, an intelligent and conscious will and
education are needed. Yet, there is no apparent planner and no apparent
education. The system has been designed by an invisible will and
has been bestowed upon all ants when they first arrive on earth.
In other words, Allah Who has created the ants has chosen a complex
defence system for them and has inspired in the ants the program
needed for performance of this system.
Now let us see the details of this
system, which is an open system of creation.
In wars among different colonies,
there are certain tactics resorted to by ants. They walk about with
legs stretched out in a stiltlike posture while lifting their heads
and abdomens and occasionally inflating their abdomens to a slight
degree. The total effect is to make each ant appear larger than it
|| On the right
and left are seen ants that try to seem taller and bigger
than they actually are.
Another defence tactic they use is "pacifying the
enemy". An ant species (S. Invoila) gives out a venom during a fight
by vibrating its belly and opening up its mandible slowly. Its enemies,
who try to protect themselves from the venom open their mandibles
and drop some sugar water onto the open mandible of the venomous ant.
The reason is that the venomous ant's aggression decreases when it
has access to food. In short, the object is to draw the attention
of the other side somewhere else and pacify it.
Tactics, of course, are not limited
to these. The ants use many more sophisticated techniques in the
war zones with the physical features they have and the intelligence
that has been inspired in them.
Acid Producing Ants
Another very important defence technique of ants
is their producing in the venom sacs in their bodies venom or formic
acid as required. They use the venom they produce in a very successful
way against their enemies. They can even have an effect on human beings
with their venom. When they sting, they cause allergy shocks in certain
people. Formic acid is, too, used effectively in chasing away the
If we accept evolution, we then have
to admit that primitive ants did not start out with a poisoning
system in their bodies, it having been formed somehow later on through
the process of evolution. Yet this is a hypothesis against logic
because, for the poisoning system to work, both the venom itself
and the organ to keep it in have to be formed. It is necessary for
this organ to have an insulated structure to prevent the dispersal
of the venom to other parts of the body. Furthermore, an insulated
pipe that extends from this organ to the mouth of the ant must exist.
But this is not all. A muscle system or a mechanical arrangement
has to exist which will allow this venom to be spurted on to the
enemy (In fact, a separate gland is needed also to "lubricate" that
area for the rotation of the abdominal section from which the venom
is squirted ).
These organs could not have developed
gradually through the process of evolution because, if even one
piece were lacking, this would render the system unworkable and
cause the ant's death. Therefore there is just one explanation:
The "chemical defence system" in question must have been in place
from the moment the ants came into existence. This in turn proves
that a conscious design also exists and its other name is "Creation".
Another question to which evolutionists
cannot find the answer is how – apart from their using this venom
without any harm coming to themselves - they have learned
to produce such a poison in their bodies (in venom sacks). In fact,
the answer is very clear and obvious: Like all creatures in the
universe, these ants with their perfect systems have been created
all at the one time. The One Who has created the venom production
centre in their bodies and Who has inspired them to use it in the
most logical manner is Allah, the Creator of the worlds.
Ants Who Can Count
How is a simple insect able to assess the strength
of the enemy? Interestingly enough, this is realized by the mathematical
knowledge of the ant.
There are several
ways the ant workers might indirectly assess the enemy strength.
One of them is that they can "count heads" while shifting from one
combatant to another. If their nestmates outnumber the enemy – say
three to one – they will be subjectively aware of the imbalance
in their favor and more inclined to press forward. If the reverse,
they will retreat. A second method is to poll the enemy. If a high
percentage of the alien workers encountered are majors, the other
colony is probably large, because majors are produced in high numbers
only when colonies approach maturity.73
The ultimate sacrifice in public service
is to destroy enemies by committing suicide in defense of the colony.
Many kinds of ants are prepared to assume this kamikaze role in
one way or another, but none more dramatically than workers of a
species of Camponotus of the saundersi group living in the rain
forests of Malaysia.
Discovered in 1970
by two entomologists, these ants are anatomically and behaviorally
programmed to be walking bombs. Two huge glands, filled with toxic
secretions, run from the bases of the mandibles all the way to the
posterior tip of the body. When the ants are pressed hard during
combat, either by enemy ants or by an attacking predator, they contract
their abdominal muscles violently, bursting open the body wall and
spraying the secretions onto the foe.74
Such a serious sacrifice by the ants
cannot, of course, be explained by either natural selection or by
the "evolutionist socialization process". As emphasized many times
before, the creature which carries out this very important sacrifice
is not a man of a certain intelligence, education, sense and conscience,
but an ant. Even if we think that ants may have gone through some
physical change – there are ant fossils nevertheless that have remained
unchanged for 80 million years – it is quite obvious that physical
changes alone would not equip it with such features. No mutation
experienced by a living being can cause its sudden transformation
into a thinking, judging, feeling and sensing individual.
Even if we assumed that there had been
an ant one day who decided to sacrifice itself to put up such a
defence, it would of course be impossible for it to load this idea
into its genes and transmit it to other ants.
Slave maker Ants
The relationship between (Formica Subintegra),
the parasitic ant and its slave (Formica Subserica) is interesting
because it indicates the effect of chemical signals on the social
lives of ants. "Slavery" is one of the intelligent war tactics of
ants and maybe the most interesting one.75
Sometimes, if the soldiers of a colony
realize that they can easily crush another colony, they may start
hunting for slaves. They invade the nest of the other colony, kill
the queen and take as loot the nectar-filled "honey pots" – those
ants that fill their bodies with nectar. The most important point
is their stealing the larvae of the queen. These larvae later on
turn into young ants which will become "slave ants." They will look
after the growing children of the colony queen and will search for
and store food for the dominant colony.
||The most important feature of slave trading
ants is to steal the larvae of the colony they fight, and to
make these larvae "slaves" for their own colonies. On the left,
an ant capturing the larva of the competitor colony is seen.
|Slave maker ants do not steal only
larvae from the competitor colony. Honey ants also steal the
"honey pots" of the other colony and take them to their own
When parasite ants attack another ant
colony, the reason that the soldiers of the other colony cannot
prevent the theft of their eggs and cocoons is a type of pheromone
given out by the parasite ants. This pheromone is similar to a warning
substance that exists in that colony and when it is secreted in
large quantity by parasite ants, it results in the ants' running
away instead of protecting their colonies.
As we know, there is a different pheromone
secreted by each ant species. These pheromones are used for the
designation of boundaries, the obtaining of information on the location
and size of the enemy, as an attack command during war and as an
Here there is a very interesting point.
Parasite ants know the panic alarm of the enemy ant colony. They
simulate this alarm and use it for a certain purpose. As a result,
the enemy colony loses its present discipline because of the mimicry
pheromone secreted by the parasite ant, and runs away in panic without
resorting to its defence system. That is, parasite ants cause the
collapse of the enemy defence system by using very smart tactics.
A masterfully prepared war strategy has come into operation. Furthermore,
parasite ants have had all the chemical production and information
infrastructure necessary for the implementation of this strategy
since birth – since the time of their creation.
Some ant species lead
their lives by having their slaves do everything for them. The red
Amazon ant (Polyergus) is an example. All Amazon ants are soldiers.
They have large sharp mandibles made for war. They can neither gather
food nor look after babies. These ants attack the nests of certain
small-sized black ant species and steal their cocoons and larvae.
Ants emerging from cocoons are carried home to take on the jobs
of the Amazon ants and stay with the Amazon colony, even if their
own nests are nearby. In fact, when Amazon ants move to their winter
nests, most of the transport is ordinarily conducted by their slaves,
thus they are able to emigrate very swiftly.76
Ants can defend themselves against
even very large living beings due to their ability to leave traces.
A good example of this is the ant's struggle with the dragon fly.
Ants who spot the dragon fly gather together thanks to their tracing
systems, then they attack and kill it. In another example, they
are able by the same method to beat a caterpillar that attacks another
member of the colony even if it is much larger in size than themselves.
It may seem normal for one living being
to attack another or to fight with it for the purpose of defending
its life, or for food. However, if a creature is acting together
with others in its species while fighting the enemy, and if they
communicate war tactics to each other, then we must inevitably focus
on this subject.
To decide upon tactics, to fight accordingly
with a certain order and discipline, and to use a communication
system to protect such order and discipline, are all acts that need
intelligence, planning and judgement. For instance, today's war
strategies have been determined on the basis of the life-long experience
of human beings. Army officers go through training in academies
to learn such tactics. They also need specifically developed communication
systems for the implementation of their strategies.
However, the soldiers that we talked
about above, who determine the discipline and attack tactics with
chemical communication systems, who attack the enemy together and
who, if necessary, sacrifice themselves at times for other individuals
of the army have not had any training and do not have any accumulation
of information. These beings we are talking about are ants that
are only a few milimetres long and do not have the ability to think.
MASTERS OF CAMOUFLAGE
The secret of the ant species "Basiceros" was not
solved until recently. Researchers had come across these only once
and had never found any ant similar to them again. Therefore, they
were thought to be a very rare species.
However, a researcher solved the secret
of these ants in 1985. He found out that they are not a species
that is rarely found at all. The researcher, named La Selva, who
solved this secret, described the Basiceros ants as master illusionists,
because they were able to become "invisible" whenever they wanted.
What was it that made them invisible?
The Basiceros species,
unlike other ant species, are covered with two layers of hair with
splintered ends. When they walk on the ground, all kinds of dust,
earth and bits of straws, etc., stick on these hairs. Another difference
between these and other ants is that they do not clean the dirt
off their bodies very often. Therefore, as shown in the pictures,
they display total harmony with the environment they are in. When
looked at from outside, it is almost impossible to locate them.
They only become a little visible when they start walking. Yet,
even in this case, they take precautions to protect themselves from
birds, lizards and even the human eye. They are the sluggish ants
in the world and may be observed to stand perfectly still for minutes
at a time when they are disturbed.77
The camouflage technique applied by
this ant species is very striking, because it is impossible for
an ant to have developed a defence system by determining all its
physiological characteristics by itself. All these features (body
covered with hair, not cleaning often unlike other ants and moving
very slowly) must have been defined beforehand so that the ant came
into this world already equipped with the characteristics discussed.
As a result, again, we are facing a
great truth. This ant species has also been created by Allah with
all its features designated beforehand, thus showing us His attribute
||In the pictures on the left
and right, we see the masters of camouflage of the ant world.
The bodies of these ants of the Basiceros species are covered
with two layers of hair with splintered ends. Thus, it is
impossible to locate them
Bert Hölldobler-Edward O.Wilson, Journey to The Ants, Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, 1994, p. 70
73 Ibid, p. 71
74 Ibid, p. 67
75 Venomous Animals of the World, by Roger Caras, p. 84
76 Bert Hülldobler-Edward O.Wilson, The Ants, Harvard University Press,
1990, p. 284
77 Ibid, p. 185-186