Study Explains How Ants Cooperatively Transport Large Loads

Posted: Jul 29 2015, 5:30am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 29 2015, 6:01am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Ants Cooperatively Transport Large Loads
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  • Signs of Cooperation Among Ants to Haul Heavy Food Items

Scientists have discovered signs of cooperation among ants to haul heavy food items. There are leader ants and there are helper ants in this scheme of mutual benefit.

Israeli researchers have found out that ants use a complex piecemeal approach. This allows them to lift massive pieces of food and carry them from far off distances all the way to their nests.

The majority of helper ants lift the object of digestive desire and move it in an erratic manner. But there are leader ants among them who help in providing a rudder. Thus the crumbs of doughnut or pieces of bread get transported right to their target – the nest of the ant colony.

Thus the scouts and the lifters have complementary roles. It is a fine see-saw act between thinking for oneself and herd instinct. Video clips of these ants carrying things showed their planning in action.

Thus the schemata of these tiny creatures became crystal clear. The type of ants used in the experiment were the longhorn crazy ants. As the name suggests these ants are famous for scurrying here and there in a haphazard manner.

The latest evidence points towards the fact that it is not a meaningless form of activity. Rather it is subtle and delicate in its nature. Actually there is a great deal of conformity that escapes the observer’s eye.

The majority of the ants are quite tuned into the directions given out by the leader ants. Despite the chaotic movements of these insects, most of the time they are doing the right thing. The margin of error is only 10% in these ants.

They usually manage to forgo any futility in their plans to carry the food item back home. But rarely this fails and it is often due to the foolishness of a single errant ant among the entire group.

The leader ants bark orders at the rest of the slaves or lifters. And the job gets accomplished without any hitches or glitches along the way. Most of the information exchange occurs through the vibrations that the object sends out.

The experiments conducted prove once and for all that they have more discipline in them. There are even stories of these persistent ants stealing cat food. Their determination is so strong that they will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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