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Leafcutter Ants & Spider Monkeys

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” - Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

In the Amazon rainforest, the leafcutter ant lives in colonies of up to several million members. During the day, the ants work as one to cut leaves and bring them home to their underground nests.

The leafcutter ant is equipped with a large, sharp mandible, allowing it to scissor through the jungle foliage. With the strength to carry 20 times their body weight, the ants haul leaves atop their backs with surprising ease. These leaves are then used to cultivate a fungus that feeds the ant larvae.

Because the ants behave more like a single animal than millions of individuals, many scientists consider a colony to be a super-organism.

Above the ants, among the trees, are spider monkeys. Though they spend most of their lives swinging from branches, they will at times come to the forest floor when a salt lick emerges. It is at this time the spider monkeys can obtain essential minerals needed to survive. Coming to the forest floor, however, is dangerous. It is here where many of the monkeys’ predators prowl.

To take advantage of a rare salt lick while being conscious of predators, one spider monkey will stand guard while the other enjoys a nutrient-rich treat. If trouble is afoot, the lookout monkey will begin hollering to warn its companion. When one has had its fill, the roles reverse. Teamwork is crucial.

I Corinthians 12 describes the body of Christ as one entity, but having many parts. Each part is as important to the whole as any other, and without one part, the body does not function as it should. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” Moreover, the parts less honorable are bestowed the greatest honor.

Each member of the body of Christ has been gifted in one of many ways, whether it be in teaching, serving, leading, etc. We are to be united, and thus accomplish the will of God.

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5 ESV

- Christopher Glading, Director of Programs and Publicity

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