Ants Plug Holes to Smooth Journey

From BBC News.

A scientific study of the teamwork of army ants has discovered how they are prepared to let their fellow ants walk all over them to get the job done.

They found that the ants did indeed plug the holes, but the team also discovered that individuals would size-match themselves to a hole for the best fit.

The ant becomes a "living surface" remaining in place for hours at a time while thousands of foragers walk back and forth across the trail. At the end of the day, when the traffic eventually diminishes, the ant that forms this motionless plug will detect that and pop out of the hole and run home.

Dr Powell said: "Broadly, our research demonstrates that a simple but highly specialised behaviour performed by a minority of ant workers can improve the performance of the majority, resulting in a clear benefit for the society as a whole."


blog comments powered by Disqus