Fire Ants vs. Bird-Eater Tarantula

On this channel we’ve witnessed some pretty
incredible things over the years, never before captured on film, and some undocumented by
science. We’ve seen baby cockroaches being born from
their mother as she was being devoured by fire ants, we’ve seen yellow crazy ants ingeniously
feeding carnivorous pitcher plants with leftover insect parts to render them safe, and even
watched Dracula ants mangling their own pupae to suck their blood. Well, guys, today is another one of those
days, for what I’m about to show you in this video, is likely something you’ve never seen
before. It’s been a crazy week in the Antiverse, our
ant room jam-packed with ant kingdoms, due to an event that shook nearly every single
ant, creature, and vivarium in this biological plane of existence – the death of a goddess,
but what’s more crazy is the way this all ended, caught me by surprise and completely
blew my mind. Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Alright, AC Family, so let me start by how
this all happened. As you may or may not know, I have a klugi
bird-eater tarantula, who lives in a terrarium, in a quiet corner of my room. Her name is Imelda, and you may have seen
her featured in past videos. Well, this week, I made a heart-breaking and
shocking discovery when I came to feed her. Imelda, the goddess of the Antiverse had passed
away. I couldn’t believe it! This was the first time in my life to ever
experience the death of a long-term tarantula friend. I called her the goddess of the Antiverse
because before any of these ant colonies came to be in this Ant Room, Imelda was living
here, quiet and problem-free. She has seen this Ant Room change and evolve
over the years, witnessing the constant evolution of ant kingdoms from her silken palace in
the corner. I always saw her as the silent watcher and
partner, since the genesis of the my Ant Room. But now Imelda had left me, and I felt so
sad. She was definitely old. I bought her as an adult, something they say
in tarantula keeping not to do because you never know how old they actually are, but
I know in the almost 5 yrs she was with me, I did my very best to give her the fattest
of roaches and the best life I could possibly provide. It was time to give her body a proper burial. Now although it may seem a bit morbid if you’re
new here, it isn’t to me, and if you’re AC Family, you’ll understand that we wouldn’t
have it any other way. This is the Selva De Fuego, paludarium home
to our largest and oldest ant colony in the Antiverse, the Fire Nation, our massive colony
of fire ants. And so, my plan to immortalize her prominence
in the Antiverse, was to offer her dead body to the Fire Nation to proceed to transition
her into the soil. But I know what you you guys are thinking:
“AntsCanada, your title was clickbait! The tarantula’s dead so it can’t fight back!” But hold on now. Guys, remember what I said about something
you’ve never seen before? Well, what actually ended up happening will
shock you! The death of the goddess of the Antiverse,
physically affected everyone, including me. You’ll see what I mean by the end of this
video. So, I placed her into the Selva de Fuego for
the fire ants to feast on to begin the deconstruction. In the first three minutes, word quickly spread
to the rest of the colony that something big, something massive, had just made its way into
the Selva de Fuego. Ants rushed in from all around the tarantula
carcass. These girls have never received a food item
this large in their entire lives, and they all rejoiced at the unexpected find. This footage by the way is not time lapsed. The ants have truly kicked up into turbo mode,
as one would expect if an exceptional feast just suddenly fell from the skies. What I really wanted to see is how they would
end up processing such a huge food item, and what their strategy was for taking apart this
huge bird-eater tarantula, which has a bit more of a complicated exoskeleton and anatomy
than the regular roaches they’re used to eating. Whatever the case, I was looking forward to
witnessing something new. In about five minutes, the Fire Nation was
arriving at the site in droves excited to get to work at bringing home the meat. What’s fascinating is that ants communicate
exclusively through pheromones, biochemicals which form an ant language, that is released
in the area so that all members of the colony are in sync. This tarantula and the entire area surrounding
it, is probably now covered with the “Let’s eat this big momma!” pheromone. It’s caused the ants to start the great dismantling
process. It looks like the ants have now chosen to
attempt to get to the tasty insides of the tarantula, by way of the soft membranes and
joints attaching its harder exoskeletal pieces and appendages together, but the Fire Nation
will need all the help they can get to fully consume this tarantula, and quite frankly,
this is kind of a big deal, because if this were to happen in the wild, this huge tarantula
could mean thousands if not millions of babies, the queen, and adult ants are fed and nourished. A huge tarantula like this could feed a nice
sized colony for a week! Food discoveries could mean life or death
for a colony like the Fire Nation, so the sooner they could get all the meat down into
the nest, and/or in their little ant bellies, the better. 5 hours later, I returned to the Fire Nation
to see how far they’d come along. All I could see were a tonne of ants just
carpeting the area. I noticed the ants had decided to concentrate
their efforts at cutting away at the exposed membranes of the joints and areas attaching
the tarantula’s head, i.e. cephalothorax, to the abdomen. Take a look at them hard at work, trying to
bore their way into the interior of this leg! I love that with this 4K camera we can see
up close, how they’re maneuvering themselves around the hairs which seem to put up quite
the challenge for the ants. I thought it was a good tactic to try to get
in through this point, as entrance into here meant they could then mine into both the cephalothorax
and the abdomen, as well all the legs. OK, now AC Family, wanna see something cool? Check this out! Speaking of abdomen, see these two finger
like appendages at the end of the abdomen? These are the spinnerets, the silk-producing
appendages, but look! It looks like it is still producing silk,
even if the tarantula was dead! I watched as ants dangled several times from
invisible silk fibres produced from these spinnerets. Isn’t that amazing that even after death these
spinnerets are still functional and able to create silk? I wondered what other unforseen hazzards this
dead tarantula would pose for these fire ants. The next morning, I came to check up on the
progress. Had they finished the tarantula overnight? Let’s find out. Hmmm… Alright. Still working on the tarantula, but what were
the advancements? Look! They’ve successfully removed those problematic
spinnerets, and it looks like the ants had create a pile of discarded useless parts,
mostly dried up exoskeleton bits and hair. And hey, looks like they’ve managed to make
their way into the tarantula’s interior, at these sections where the top carapace meets
the coxae of the leg, and look at those chunks of tarantula meat the ants are carrying in
their mandibles! Wow! Looks like we can conclude that tarantula
is white meat! Like miners carrying out massive nuggets of
gold, the ants made their way off the tarantula and back into the nest. Now there was one thing quite peculiar that
I did notice. Tell me if you guys notice it too. Have a look. Did you guys notice that a lot of the ants
seemed to be clumsy and lose their balance? They were falling all over the place? It was peculiar because these ants are usually
pretty nimble. Could the tarantula’s flesh somehow be poisoning
the fire ants? Or making them drunk? I had no idea, the answer would soon come
to us, and completely blow my mind. But before we get to the end result of this
dead tarantula dismantlement by fire ants, I’ve got to show you guys how the death of
this goddess, has brought about a major shift within the Antiverse. Are you ready for this AC Family? So, now that goddess Imelda had passed, and
her silken palace removed, you may be wondering where the Plateaus of Gaia, home to our trap-jaw
ant colony called the Jawbreakers, which laid atop Imelda’s palace, was placed. Well, you may be surprised to know that the
Plateaus of Gaia have now shifted to the East. I think the Jawbreakers, will appreciate this
new location, which was a bit brighter and more openly airy than the darkened corner
they were previously occupying. Much more suited to their booming population,
I would say. And what about the scarab beetle larvae’s
Chambers of Sudan, which used to be situated behind the Plateaus of Gaia. Well, it may surprise you that they are now
located here, along with our new carpenter ant colony, free-roaming ants, and termite
farm. I was happy to be able to use this previously
unoccupied deep pocket of Antiverse space, which I also feel these ants, termites, and
beetle larvae will like. As for Olympus, our huge supercolony of marauder
ants we call the Titans, and the Blood Towers, the lair of our new Dracula Ants called the
Blood Legion, that used to be in this corner. They are now here, occupying this corner,
filling in void that Imelda, the Jawbreakers, and scarab beetles left. I personally like them better here. But wait! Now you may be asking, if that’s the new location
for the Plateaus of Gaia, what happened to El Dragon Island, our dragon-themed paludarium
and home to the Platinum Dragons, our lesser weaver ants living in the plants? Well, after several months of living on El
Dragon, I’ve been noticing that their population has neither increased nor decreased. They still ate well and I did see them entering
and exiting their leaf nest. But overall, they weren’t doing as well as
I’d hoped in El Dragon’s island setup. I wasn’t sure if it was the moat water quality
possibly hindering them from flourishing, or if it was too humid, maybe. Either way, they weren’t doing so well on
El Dragon Island so I figured it was time for a change. I moved the Platinum Dragons from El Dragon
Island to the El Dragon Towers, three stacked AC Outworlds, which is a bit smaller of a
space for the Platinum Dragons but much more suitable for their colony size since it is
easier to keep environmental conditions more consistent. But checkout my plan! I’ve attached the test tube setups at the
back placing their leaf nest close by so they can hopefully move into these test tube setups,
where I can better monitor the colony and their growth. The entire system is closed so there is no
way pharaoh ants can get in to threaten them, which they’ve been known to do in the past. And speaking of which, what happened to the
inhabitants of the River of Dragon’s Tears, the Rasbora fish which were supposed to protect
the Black Dragons from pharaoh ants trying to swim across to get to the Black Dragons,
and the Leviathans, our colony of cleaner shrimp, now that there was no more River of
Dragon’s Tears? Well, they’ve been deployed to the Golden
Springs of our Golden Empire, our yellow crazy ants in the Hacienda Del Dorado. I much preferred them in these waters. The Rasbora fish schooled and enjoyed this
more shadowy water environment, which better matched their natural habitat. I also added more java moss to make the Golden
Springs a bit more shadowy. The Leviathans hadn’t waited a second to begin
cleaning up the waters of all the gunk build-up. Look at that patch of clean surface they’ve
already achieved. Whether this new team will prove effective
at keeping these waters clean and eating dead yellow crazy ants, we’ll have to see. I actually added a few more shrimp into the
mix to get the cleaning team going and breeding. But overall, our former River of Dragon’s
Tears inhabitants seemed happier in these waters, switching citizenship as new Hacienda
Del Doradans. The greatest thing about this entire Antiversal
shift, was that this new look and aesthetic flow of energy in the Antiverse felt much
better now. Have a look! Doesn’t the Ant Room feel less chaotic? Somehow a new balance was established in the
Antiverse, and I was grateful for the new geographic arrangement of ant kingdoms. I felt good looking at the Ant Room one last
time, before calling it a night. Lights off. It was Day 3, and in the morning I came to
check up on the ants and what was left of the tarantula, but I wasn’t prepared to see
what I was about to discover. AC Family, look at this. As expected, it seemed the ants had successfully
hallowed out most of the meat. The tarantula looked hallow now. They had finished collecting what they needed
from the tarantula. But later that day, check out what else I
saw! Do you see it? There! That ball of ants! How peculiar. I had never seen anything like it. I tried to look as closely as I could to try
to find out what was going on. Was the queen there and the ants surrounding
her? That’s the only time I’d ever seen them balling
up like this. How odd. Now the crazy thing about this all, AC Family,
was that these ants balled up like this for hours and hours that day, until I came to
find them all dead. What on Earth?! What could have possibly caused this ball
of death on the tarantula? And then, I noticed something. The ants crawling around the legs, that seemed
to be having a hard time, slipping and falling all over the place, and that was when it finally
hit me: The tarantula’s hair! OMG, the ants weren’t drunk! The various hairs of the tarantula where probably
making it hard for the ants to gain a proper grip onto the tarantula’s surface, which probably
meant the orientation of the hairs at the abdomen had somehow trapped this unfortunate
ball of ants in that one spot. The ball was actually sitting in a bald patch
of the tarantula’s abdomen, which told me the ants were probably grasping desperately
to leave this death region of the tarantula, and the defensive urticating hairs, which
are naturally designed to dislodge in defense, were trapping the ants in this death pit of
tarantula hair. Looking back at the footage, it did seem like
the ants were rolling what looked like a ball of tiny hairs around inside of their death
ball. The ants couldn’t get out, and died of exhaustion. Wow! The tarantula, goddess Imelda of the Antiverse,
had not left us without truly leaving her mark and taking some ants with her. She also left the Antiverse, with a new layout,
a better layout, and you know what, she also didn’t leave without giving me a gift to remember. Cleaning up and removing her terrarium, caused
invisible air-born urticating hair to fill my entire condo, causing my house keeper and
I to, feel itchy all over our bodies, as well as these unsightly irritated and itchy, pus-filled
rashes. Imelda left this plane of existence like a
true goddess. As I watched the Fire Nation in the closing
stages of cleaning Imedla’s body up, I couldn’t help but think how amazingly interconnected
the existence of a creature could be to that of all others around. I felt this entire situation reminded me,
even metaphorically, how every creature, plant, and habitat is deeply connected, including
us humans who at times may fall under the illusion that we are unaffected by changes
with said creatures, plants, and habitats. When an animal dies, we are all are affected
and we all shift. When life is preserved, we are all affected,
and we all shift. Thank you Imelda for sharing this final lesson. I will truly miss you. Oh yeah, and one more thing. I almost forgot, speaking of preservation
of life, some of you might be wondering what happened to a certain white aquadragon, our
most recent addition to the Antiverse, who was placed into the Golden Springs last week
to help with eating dead ants. If the Leviathans and Rasbora fish are living
there now, where is the white aquadragon? Well, last week I as well as many of you,
felt our newcomer needed a bigger space to live, one that was colder, and more interesting
for the dragon. Well, AC Family, in a parallel universe, an
unexplored underworldly abyss, much more frigid, inhabited by the likes of giant griffins,
and waterworlds teaming with life, sprung my newest grand creation. AC Family, behold! Welcome to Axolotland, into which someone
special is about to move in! Alright AC Family, what did you think? Weren’t you mind-blown by how deadly Imelda
was to consume? Do you like the new layout of the Ant Room
she left us with? And, are you ready to see the world our cute
axolotl is living in now? I show you all next week, so hit the SUBSCRIBE
button and BELL icon now so you can keep updated on the happenings of Antiverse and aquadragons
of Axolotland, yes “aquadragons” plural! And hit the LIKE button every single time,
including now. If you’re new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the fire ants feasting
on the tarantula. I will surely miss her, but am happy she’s
now crossed the Rainbow Bridge. And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs of my journey as a Youtuber
with creatures like my baby African Grey parrot! If you love birds and animals, I’d love for
you to meet my new cute little bird! Hope you can subscribe when you’re there. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What neat special ability does
the axolotl possess? Congratulations to Safwan and Sabrina who
correctly answered: The axolotl possesses the power
to regenerate it’s body parts. Congratulations, Safwan and Sabrina, you just
won a free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is the technical term for the
tarantula’s head section of its body? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!