What has 66 legs and plays football?

KASHIHARA, Nara -- What has 66 legs and plays soccer? -- An energetic team of 11 ants, getting ready for the Ant World Cup.
A titanic struggle ensued between two teams of ants bearing Japanese and Brazilian colors in their practice game ahead of the Ant World Cup at the Kashihara City Insectarium in Nara Prefecture on Friday.
The Camponotus obscuripes ants, known as Muneaka-oari in Japanese, measured between 7 and 12 mm long. They played using a 1 cm ball on a pitch 20 by 30 cm.
In the wild, the ants recognize enemies by their pheromones. The organizers of the game used this natural ability to make the ants "ant-agonize" each other, by feeding the Japanese team with Kagoshima pork and the Brazilian team with spare ribs in order to alter the ants' pheromones.

Unfortunately, the game ended in an anticlimax, with a draw.(Mainichi)

May 27, 2006


see the pics here