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Winners Photography Awards 2009

Ants by Santosh Kumar Jana

The behaviour of ants (order: Hymenoptera) has long fascinated scientists and mathematicians. Their extraordinary social behaviour, legendary altruism and awesome strength – ants can lift objects eight times their body weight – are only some of the reasons they virtually rule the natural world. These beautiful weaver ants Oecophyla sp., like so many other ant species, are well known for their ingenious ability to overcome obstacles, including surprisingly wide gaps in their path. Seen here is an ant-bridge formed by worker ants in the community, which allowed other colony members to transport the community’s priceless larvae to safety. Apart from the photographer’s technical brilliance, the judges were impressed by the dramatic story frozen in time by his camera.
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