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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Three Headed Ant Dies

The Three Stooges, Newburgh's freakish three-headed ant who gained brief notoriety after landing at the on-line auction site eBay on Monday, has died. Age and gender are unknown. The cause of death was apparently starvation.

"I tried everything I could think of, but it didn't work," said Christine Macri, who found the bug clinging to a sunflower plant in her backyard Sunday. "I tried feeding him something sweet, but he didn't eat that." Except for its 15 minutes of fame in yesterday's newspaper, much of Stooges' life remains a mystery.

This much is clear to at least one expert: The one-quarter-inch-long bug only had one head of its own. After reviewing photos of the ant, Philip S. Ward, an ant expert at the University of California Davis, said the other two heads appeared to belong to ants that had been decapitated and speared gladiator-style, probably during an ant war. Other than that, it's anyone's guess.

"I felt sorry for it," Macri said of her decision to try and nurse the bug back to health before selling it. "When you think about people (or ants for that matter) who are Siamese twins, you think about how awful it would be to live that way."

The ant's untimely death won't stop the online auction, however. The Orange County artist said she is looking for ways to preserve the ant. "A friend told me to put it in the freezer," she said. "But I don't know. It might get freezer burn. Then, if someone wanted to dissect it or look at it, it might change its make up."

Anyway, check it out over here.


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