Floating ants

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazing nature: a raft made of fire ants just won't let itself get pushed underwater by a pair of tweezers.

Video made by Nathan Mlot, Mechanical Engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, while studying the cooperative behavior of fire ants:
Fire ants like many species of ants make their homes underground. They are composed of a complex network of passageways and chambers. During floods or heavy rainstorms, these passageways will full up with water and force the ants to evacuate their home. Instead of scattering individually, fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have the unique ability to gather together as a colony and form rafts on the surface of the rising waters using their own bodies. A layer of ants on the bottom of the raft serves as a base for the rest of the colony to "comfortably" mill around on. Due to the tightly knit "weave" of the ants, water cannot penetrate the raft allowing the ants to stay dry. This water-tight nature provides the raft with the buoyancy force necessary to float. The ants can remain in the raft formation for weeks if necessary or until the floodwaters subside and they are able to establish their colony in a new underground home.
GaTech AntLab | via
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2 comentarii:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

WTF so awesome!

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