Sunday, May 27, 2007

Army Ants Unusual Teamwork

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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.

Scientists from the University of Bristol observed that, when ants were foraging on rough terrain, some of them used their own bodies to plug potholes.

They even chose which of them was the best fit to lie across each hole.

The flatter surface provided the rest of the group, which can number 200,000, a faster route between prey and nest.

The research, published in the journal of Animal Behaviour, said that the team first noticed the army ants' (Eciton burchellii) unusual behaviour in the insects' native rainforest home in Panama. link

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