National Geographic : 2011 May
• beings and ants," those researchers have written, "is that whereas we send our young men to war, they send their old ladies." rain forest night, Mo ett is singing nonsense jingles inter- rupted by little squeaks and hmmms. It means he's trying to keep focused while being bitten. When I nd him, he's peeling back silk-hemmed leaves to peer at the inner workings of a nest, and defenders are swarming his arms, sprinting toward his bare neck. Mapping out colonies in an orchard at the forest's edge the following morning, we nd one that encompasses 17 trees. "Compared with a continuous ground surface, treetops aren't able to support many heavy-bodied animals," Mof- fett says. "Plenty of territory to roam up there, but it's mainly leaves. So if you're a predator, the best way to control a large territory in the A Cosmophasis jumping spider (below, at left) has infiltrated a weaver nest in Australia using chemical mimicry. By eating weaver ant larvae, the spider can take on and emit the scent of a colony and then feed unnoticed among its prey. But the spider cannot use that colony's scent to fool a different colony.