id you know that there is an ant colony that lives on three continents? Seriously. There is a colony of Argentine ants that has spread to Europe and Japan, of course with some help from people. One colony spreads over 6 000 km (3 700 miles) along the Mediterranean coast.
The second one extends over 900 km (560 miles) in California in the US. The third colony is in Japan. Researchers discovered that these ant colonies share a very similar of hydrocarbons in their cuticles, and they are in fact members of the same colony.
Here is the interesting part. Put ants from different colonies together and they become aggressive. Put ants from these three different colonies together, and they act like old friends. They are never aggressive towards another, and they never avoid one another. They recognize each other on the basis of the chemical composition of their cuticles.
How many families can associate with this? How many families are spread across the world and feel such strong familial bonds that they will recognize and support their relatives wherever they find them? Make the circle even closer. How many nuclear families live in the same country and find it difficult to keep contact with each other? It is even more tragic when a family live in the same town and manage to erect artificial boundaries to keep away from each other. Maybe we can learn from these ants and re-assess our own family bonds.
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