Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Ants Create a Lifeboat

So imagine this.  You and 1000 other people are stranded on one side of a river.  You need to get downriver for more food and safety.  To float you have to resist surface tension of water.  You could build a boat to try to resist the surface tension of water.  If you are a fire ant you would have solved this problem.  I learned that not only can these ants leave a nasty bite they are also pretty smart.  By linking legs the worker ants create a living raft supported by the surface tension of the water they can now float downstream to greener pastures in the Amazon.  The Queen sits nicely on top of the raft with the rest of the colony resisting surface tension.