You think your job stinks? Scientists tag each ant in a colony with tiny bar codes.

The team reared six colonies of carpenter ants Camponotus fellah in the lab and tagged each worker with paper containing a unique barcode-like symbol. The colonies — each comprising more than 100 ants — lived in flat enclosures filmed by overhead cameras. A computer automatically recognized the tags and recorded each individual’s position twice per second see video below. Over 41 days, the researchers collected more than 2.4 billion readings and documented 9.4 million interactions between the workers.

via Tracking whole colonies shows ants make career moves : Nature News & Comment.