Deborah Gordon gave an interesting TED talk on ants. Regular readers have seen posts from me before on ants. An ant colony seems to operate as a type of superorganism. I used to wonder if colonies were conscious. (Although I now doubt it since I see consciousness requiring a model of an system’s attention, and that doesn’t appear to be there for colonies.)
One thing I found very interesting in this talk is that colonies have offspring, descendants. Group selection is a bitterly debated concept in biology, but it’s easy to see why many ant experts, such as E. O. Wilson, buy into it.