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OMG!
I can't believe what I managed to film this
week.

So this video was supposed to be a regular
holidays video of what I gave to all my pet

ant colonies of the ant room for Christmas,
but it turned out to be something much more...

raw, and so utterly fascinating, that I just
had to completely make this week's video about

this very event.
My massive pet fire ant colony, you guys have
named the Fire Nation, is undoubtedly my most

ravenous, meat-hungry, prolific, and admittedly
for some reason, the channel favourite, so

this year, I had to give them a gift they'd
love.

Something that would beat the hamster I gave
them two years ago, and the cockroach Christmas

Tree, I gave them last year.
And so, AC Family, this week, what they received
for Christmas was something they'd never before

had, and what they ended up doing to it, will
leave your jaw on the floor, just as it did

mine!
You'll see exactly what I mean at the end
of this video!

Brace yourselves, everyone, as we enter the
firy Selva de Fuego, the epic paludarium kingdom

of the Fire Nation fire ants, here on the
AntsCanada Ant Channel!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
BELL icon.

Welcome to the AC Family!
Enjoy!
Welcome everyone to the Selva de Fuego, the
Amazon river paradise and home to a number

of interdependent creatures, including fish,
snails, and shrimp.

But this thriving, living and bioactive river
and waterfall are merely an installation to

benefit the real rulers of this entire rainforest
plot of territory, known as the Selva de Fuego.

The Fire Nation, a governing colony of red
tropical fire ants, whose species is known

to biologists as Solenopsis geminata.
They skate masterfully on the surface of the
water like it's solid glass, a true display

of proficiency around the river which runs
right through their lands, providing the colony

water and humidity.
It always amazes me watching them traveling
to and from places on top of the water's surface,

setting up islands and resting stations on
the giant floating water plants living in

their river.
But the Fire Nation's clever use of aquatic
plants and active life around a large body

of water, is but one of many impressive and
mind-blowing features, that make these fire

ants such satisfying creatures to own and
observe.

I feel the biggest thing that has ultimately
lead the Fire Nation to become the most popular

ant kingdom on this channel, is their ferocity
and appetite for meat.

Fire ants, which hail from the tropical jungles
of South America happen to be top predators

in the ecosystems they are part of, as well
as very important scavengers.

They devour insects, other invertebrates,
even small reptiles and amphibians, the unlucky

rodent and bird.
Any person who's had the misfortune of being
stung by these ants can testify that they

are definitely ants that mean business!
And yes, I know from experience.
They can quite easily conquer any unsuspecting,
injured, or dead animal and reduce it to bones,

and that, guys, is exactly what you're about
to see now.

Meet, no pun intended, this year's Fire Nation's
Christmas gift.

A raw chicken head, plucked of its feathers
but still with its biological juices in tact.

I anticipate, they'll love this and tear it
up to bits, leaving us with some bones to

clean up later.
Alright, AC Family, are you ready to do this?
Le's get to it!
1 - 2 - 3!
Placing the chicken head into the Selva de
Fuego.

The fire ants immediately climb up the stick
to inspect the fresh meat that they surely

could smell from below.
Now, of course, you would think that a ravenous,
meat-hungry fire ant colony would immediately

rush in and completely swarm this delicious
chicken morsel, tearing it to shreds, especially

the Fire Nation right?
But, hold on a minute, what the ants actually
ended up doing, completely surprised me and

was quite peculiar!
Have a look.
For some odd reason most of the ants just
stationed themselves along the stick and didn't

actually come near the chicken head.
Only a few ants were seen feeding from the
chicken's meaty juices.

Why?
Can you believe our Fire Nation right now,
there is a massive chunk of chicken meat at

their disposal and all they seem to want to
do is, well, hang out below on the stick.

The Fire Nation has eaten cooked chicken before,
but this was the first time they've ever had

raw chicken.
How out of character for the Fire Nation to
not be just devouring this chicken head immediately

upon discovery, right guys?
Had this been my hand, they'd have been all
over it!

Haha!
Looking at the surrounding vicinity, it did
seem like message of the chicken had begun

to spread throughout the colony, as the Fire
Nation seemed to be moving about, with that

very familiar sense of urgency I see, every
time I place some food into the Selva de Fuego.

Ants had begun to travel from far corners
of the kingdom, to come and check out what

all the buzz was about.
Ants were even traveling from their watery
stations to come check out the chicken hype.

But if they were clearly showing interest
in our chicken head, why would they not be

swarming the chicken head yet?
It didn't make any sense.
In fact, their apprehensiveness, was now forfeiting
this chicken head to the vultures of the Anitverse,

i.e. these miniature flies which are perfect
nurseries for their maggots to thrive off

of.
This chicken head could be perfect for a swarm
of maggots to devour and completely steal

from the Fire Nation.
Hmmm...
I could see a few scouts eventually inspecting
the chicken's comb and beak, but why wasn't

this chicken head just covered in fire ants
by now?

Were the ants weary of this foreign chicken
head for some reason?

Well, AC Family, the answer to that, will
surprise you, and was going to come to us

in a little bit.
Meanwhile, while waiting for them to make
their next move on our chicken head, let's

take a closer look at the Fire Nation workers.
Though we've featured the Fire Nation in many
videos before, it's been awhile since we've

actually taken a close look at the impressiveness
of the individual workers themselves, which

in my opinion are easily overlooked.
You may or may not know, fire ant workers
like these members of the Fire Nation here,

are known to be what is called polymorphic,
which means that there are various sizes of

workers from small minors to massive supermajors
with big heads.

Though each worker caste shares similar jobs,
some workers castes may be better at specific

tasks than others, for instance, the super
majors like this one you see here may be better

at cutting food items open with their massive
jaws and jaw muscles.

The smaller fire ants, the minors, may be
better at handling tiny objects like eggs

and micro bits of food.
It does seem like these ants may be licking
a drop of chicken blood that hit this stick

when I placed the chicken in.
But if they seemed to love the raw chicken
blood what was the problem with the chicken?

Something about our chicken head was not right
for the Fire Nation.

I couldn't imagine the Fire Nation being afraid
of a lifeless, raw chicken head.

I was beginning to wonder if the Fire Nation
was actually having cold feet.

Little did I know, that was exactly what it
was, literally.

Because 20 minutes later, this is what I saw!
The Fire Nation had finally decided that the
time was right for them to move in!

Alright!
The deconstruction of the chicken head had
begun!

Ants were swarming in through the bottom,
as well as chewing in from the skin of the

face, flies also seen taking full advantage
of the carcass.

It finally occurred to me what had taken the
fire ants so long to start swarming in.

AC Family, listen to this.
So these tropical fire ants actually have
a cryptonite, and that cryptonite is cold.

Cold can actually kill them.
If the Fire Nation were to ever escape fully
into my condo, all I would need to do is turn

on the air conditioning and they would all
die.

And turns out this chicken head, was bought
from my local grocery where it was kept cool

in the fridge, so that is why the fire ants
took so long to advance in.

They were waiting until the chicken meat thawed
to a safe temperature for them to be able

to start feeding.
Clever girls.
The flies were also quite interesting to watch
through all of this.

Now that the fire ants had moved in to claim
this chicken head theirs, finding a suitable

place to station, feed, and lay some eggs
was tricky business.

The fire ants defended this valuable chunk
of nourishment violently!

Check it out!
If I were this fly, I wouldn't be standing
still in one spot for too long.

It's a good thing these flies have impeccable
eye sight and lightning speed reflexes.

As I watched this fly which had managed to
gorge itself on some of the chicken's bloody

fluids, which were actually visible through
the fly's semi-transparent body, it made me

wonder how the fire ants were going to process
this massive chicken head.

Were they going to bore holes through the
chicken's ears to get to the meaty goodness

within?
Were they going to outcompete the perusing
flies that were clearly wanting to lay their

eggs on this raw chicken head?
Would the chicken's mouth become a massive
entrance into their meat excavation operations?

Only time would tell, but all I knew was that
this process was going to be one of the coolest

things I've ever seen the Fire Nation execute.
5 hours later, I checked up on the progress.
Have look!
Oh wow!
Look at them!
They were so busy!
The ants were everywhere now, all over the
chicken's face skin, feeding from the tissues,

entering through the ears, and just pouring
in from the bottom of the head!

It was clear that the fire ants were loving
this chicken head!

I couldn't wait to see them tearing it up
gradually over time, and boy were they dedicated.

Over night the operations continued.
Dismantling this chicken head for distribution
to the rest of the colony was a round the

clock job.
These ants were relentless and were not going
to rest until the chicken head was completely

bare.
By now I could see swarms of ants feeding
from within the mouth, entering through the

nose, entering and exiting through the ears,
and teams of ants still pouring in from below.

It's no wonder ants are among the most successful
organisms on the planet, as their team work

and tireless determination is truly exceptional
in the natural world.

They actually have the pressure to break this
huge meat source down as fast as possible,

because in the wild they risk losing it to
larger hungry animals that might find this

chicken head tasty.
Fire ants, though notoriously perceived as
hated pests by most people, are in fact, Mother

Nature's specially designed agents for the
transitioning of animal matter back into the

earth.
What I saw the next morning kind of startled
me.

Peeking into the Selva de Fuego, it was evident
that the chicken head had begun to decay and

sort of dry up.
Of course, the ants were still hard at work,
and flies still trying their best to get in

and find a safe spot to feed and lay eggs.
This sight kind of reminded me of the novel
Lord of the Flies, wouldn't you say, guys?

But the startling thing about this entire
scene was that the chicken's eyes were open!

OMG how creepy!
I guess the dehydration process, coupled with
the interior excavation of the meat has caused

the chicken's eyelids to open, or another
possibility, the ants managed to pry the eyelids

open to gain better access within.
From the looks of things, no pun intended,
the ants were trying to bore their way into

the chicken's eye socket.
Is it just me or is this giving anyone else
out there the shivers?

The ants had seemed to be much more organized
now with specific operational plans as to

where to get into the chicken's skull, where
all the good stuff lay, and little did I know,

the process was going to get even cooler as
time passed more and more.

AC Family, if you're a fan of zombies, I can't
wait for you guys to see what this chicken

head looked like 24 hours later, as well as
how the ants needed to alter their food processing

technique.
These fire ants are indeed masters at what
they do.

Do you guys understand now why I had to make
this its own video?

It was all too cool not to.
So the next day, I found a peculiar amount
of ants drinking from the river.

Hmmm...
Why?
Thirsty much, oh Fire Nation?
This here is an unusually large number of
ants drinking from the river at the same time,

and it made me wonder what was making the
ants so thirsty.

Can you guys guess?
Well turns out, the answer lay just above
them.

Have a look!
AC Family, presenting fire ant chicken jerky!
The chicken head had dried out and decayed
so much now, giving it a sort of zombie-like

beef jerky-esque appearance.
And trust me, it smelled salty and like beef
jerky.

Let's observe the flesh!
The meat and skin had been eaten away and
was now starting to grow strands of fungus

on it, forming a sort of carpet fungus.
The ants seemed to be breaking up and feeding
on remaining bits of meat that were available

in the chicken head.
But it did seem the ants didn't have very
much left to work with.

Still, the ants seemed determined to get every
little bit of usable meat they could from

this chicken skull.
Let's look at where they were entering.
It seemed the ants now had established entrance
into the chicken's skull through the mouth,

nasal cavities, and a hole towards the top
of the skull.

The eye had completely been sealed off now
with fungus carpet.

It was surprising to me to note that although
flies were still seen droning around, there

was no evidence of maggots at all.
Seems the Fire Nation had done a great job
at fending off the flies from taking their

valuable meat.
So why were the ants then extra thirsty now?
Probably because, drier meat, meant the colony
needed extra water to break down the dried

meat fibers within their bellies, at least
that was my guess.

Over time, the chicken head began to decay
more and more, and less and less ants were

seen visiting the chicken head, probably because
it became less and less edible.

Nearly one week later, as of this morning,
this is what the chicken head looked like.

A chicken skull with nothing more than a bit
of hard rotting flesh bits.

In nature, the remaining decaying parts inedible
to the ants, would have been further broken

down by soil creatures, fungi, and microbes,
but regardless, watching these fire ants reduce

this chicken head from this to this, was a
spectacle I would never forget.

What did you guys think of this process?
What other things should I try feeding the
Fire Nation?

I felt this chicken head was the perfect Christmas
gift to give the most famous ant colony on

this channel, as the nourishment was enough
to sustain the entire colony of millions,

for a good week, at least, and perhaps give
the queen a surge of valuable protein to produce

more eggs than usual, and give the colony
a huge population boost, as if they need it!

Going into 2019, I was optimistic for the
Fire Nation, as well as all the ants of the

Ant Room, optimistic because you the AC Family
is now bigger and stronger than ever.

You guys watching these ant videos and participating
in the polls, helping with names and decisions,

ultimately affecting their individual fates,
has made this ant keeping journey extra special!

Now speaking of the Ant Room, I promised to
give an extra video this week, so AC Inner

Colony, feel free to watch this hidden video
here, for a full Ant Room tour and update

on all ant colonies, creatures, and animals
in the Antiverse and beyond, just so we are

all caught up for our new wave of epic ant
videos in 2019.

If you're new to the channel, do take this
opportunity to walk with us through all the

ant kingdoms of the ant room and meet the
creatures we all love.

AC Family, I wish you all a happy new year
2019, thank you for watching, and as always,

it's ant love forever!
Alright AC Family, and there you have it!
Let's celebrate another year of epic ant videos
and toast to more adventurous discoveries

in 2019.
So, guys, go and smash that SUBSCRIBE button
and BELL icon now, so you can join our growing

AC Family, one of the coolest, smartest, and
I must say, kindest communities on Youtube.

Do subscribe to keep updated on the workings
of the Antiverse, and don't forget to hit

that LIKE button every single time, including
now.

Also a special announcement!
Although it's past the order date at AntsCanada.com
for arrival before Christmas, our awesome

Holidays Promo is still in full effect until
the end of the year, for all you ant keepers

and ant lovers wanting to get into the hobby
this year!

And boy have the ant lovers gone ant love
crazy so far!

So, guys, here's the deal!
Anyone ordering our new Ant Towers, which
are already on sale, or any of our Hybrid

Nests or Hybrid Nest Gear Packs, will also
get our newly revised 2019 version of the

Ultimate Ant Keeping Handbook, with new and
updated ant keeping info, a huge new section

on nuptial flight schedules and distribution
info per species, and tonnes of gorgeous ant

photography.
Just order an Ant Tower or Hybrid Nest or
Hybrid Nest Gear Pack, add the new e-book

to your cart and use the coupon code "antove2019"
and you get the e-book for free!

If you've always wanted to start ant keeping,
don't miss out on this opportunity and check

out our ant keeping gear at AntsCanada.com.
I look forward to you all keeping ants with
me!

If you're new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel

free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of

all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate

how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much!

And now it's time for the AC Question of the
Week!

Last week we asked:
Why do we suspect that phoretic
mites might be a seasonal thing?

Congratulations to Fernanda Silveira who correctly
answered:

Previous infestations occurred around the
same

time of the year, when it was colder and dry.
Congratulations, Fernanda Silveira, you just
won a free e-book handbook from our shop!

In this week's AC Question of the Week, we
ask:

What does polymorphic mean?
Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook

from our shop!
Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST.

Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help

us keep making more.
It's ant love forever!
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I Gave My Fire Ants A Chicken Head

332 Folder Collection
asd20040928 published on May 17, 2019
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