You manage a colony of slave-maker ants.  It’s a small colony (not a knock on you, all slave-maker ant colonies are small) so you have only a handful of scouts to send out on an enslavement mission. Do you target a similarly weak colony (better odds) or the biggest and strongest around (better slaves)? According to this account of a study published in Animal Behavior, you risk it and go for the big prize.

It’s fun to theorize why:

Now, like most animal fables, this one can be spun in any number of ways. (Ants are particularly suitable for, or susceptible to, this.) Are the populous, well-defended colonies doing anything wrong? Do these attacks work because whoever’s running the big, powerful colony doesn’t mind losing a few small members? Is the answer more defenses, or subtler ones? Do you change how you live because of a small band of violent actors? Should the hostages fight back when they’re older? (They sometimes do.)

Homburg Howdyado: The Browser.

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