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photos by bence maté in costa rica who noted, “the garden at the laguna del lagarto lodge is full of flowers that are invaded by the ants. as they carried the colorful petals, i laid down to set up this reflected composition (third and sixth photos). i shot many thousands of pictures over several days and got just a few images that were sharp.”

in lowland forests throughout costa rica, worker leaf cutter ants carry loads up to twelve times their own weight back to their subterranean nest, which they share with 5 million others, where leaf and flower fragments are chewed up and fed to a fungus which in turn provides them with food.

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