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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Myrmecology (from Greek: μύρμηξ, myrmex, "ant" and λόγος, logos, "study") is a branch of entomology focusing on the scientific study of ants. Some early myrmecologists considered ant society as the ideal form of society and sought to find solutions to human problems by studying them. (Proverbs 6:6... Citation given) Ants continue to be a model of choice for the study of questions on the evolution of social systems because of their complex and varied forms of eusociality (social organization). Their diversity and prominence in ecosystems also has made them important components in the study of biodiversity and conservation. Recently, ant colonies are also studied and modeled for their relevance in machine learning, complex interactive networks, stochasticity of encounter and interaction networks, parallel computing, and other computing fields.


Myrmecologists in fiction

The fictional black and white 1954 Warner Bros. movie Them! describes the visiting expert Dr. Harold Medford (played by Edmund Gwenn) from the Department of Agriculture in Washington DC as a myrmecologist.

List of notable myrmecologists

Note: Names are listed alphabetically.

Contemporary myrmecologists

Related terms

  • Myrmecochorous (adj.) dispersed by ants
  • Myrmecophagous (adj.) feeding on ants
  • Myrmecophile (n.) an organism that habitually shares an ant nest, myrmecophilous (adj.), myrmecophily (n.)
  • Myrmidons (n.) ant-men in Metamorphoses and in Homer's Iliad, where they are Achilles' warriors

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Myrmecology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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