Sunday Night Movie: Walter Tschinkel’s Nest Castings

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Ever wonder how Walter Tschinkel makes those amazing casts of ant nests? All is revealed here:

13 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: Walter Tschinkel’s Nest Castings”

  1. I had forgotten how prominently featured my ass was in that segment. That was a 16 hour day for that 3:00 segment, but worth it – that was the biggest P. badius nest cast so far in metal.

      1. I think it wound up at the EO Wilson Biophilia Center at the Nokuse Plantation in Florida. It was a truly massive cast and we got most of it in a single pour. It was a special day for that, plus, the film crew and Serena were really into the whole thing. We wound up having dinner and drinks with all of them that evening. A really cool day, among the many I’ve had with Walter.

  2. They should make copies of the mastercasts and sell as art and furniture! I would pay to get my hands on something like that, without having to personally wipe out a whole colony…

  3. Dr. Tschinkel has been encouraging me in my attempts to make plaster casts of Pogonomyrmex comanche nests. So far, I have only gotten partial casts, in part because it is so hot and dry here in North Central, Texas. I heard Dr. Tschinkel once say that in doing the metal casts you have to be very carefyl because your socks could catch on fire. I suspect there is a story behind that comment but I haven’t been able to get Dr. Tschinkel to fess up.

        1. Wow! The melting point of aluminum is considerably hotter than Farenheit 451, so plenty of opportunity for igniting cellulose. In 20 years of prescribed burning of grassland or woodland leaflitter, I’ve never caught socks on fire, and pants cuffs only once, when drip torch fuel spilled on one!

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