Researchers in Florida poured a liquid plaster-metal mixture into the nests of the Florida harvester ant. The resulting casts display astonishing intricacy and depth. One interesting discovery was that the top heavy nature of the chambers reflects age distribution within the any colony and not necessarily earlier digging. Younger ants tend to dig within the bottom 2/3rds of the nest while older ants dig in the top 1/3rd, eventually graduating to harvesting outside of the nest. The highest concentration of ants, therefore, is in the top of the nests, resulting in more chambers.
Although this was not discussed, we suspect many, many, ants were harmed to bring you these awesome pictures.
Close-up of Florida harvester ant nest chambers, pogonomyrmex badius
Ant nest structure was accurately predicted as early as 1991, with Maxis’ “SimAnt”