Fire ants make rafts to save themselves from floods

April 27th, 2011 - 2:27 am ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Apr 26 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Well, if you thought the humans were the smartest and well prepared against natural calamities, then think again! Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have recently published their study on raft building talents of the Fire ants.

According to the study, fire ants are smart enough to save themselves during floods by aggregating in to a group and thus forming a waterproof raft, which can stay afloat for very long time, even months. The whole colony of the fire ants stays together in this formation till the floods subside.

During experiments in the lab, researchers found that the fire ants could quickly assemble in to a raft, often in about less than two minutes using their claws and adhesive pads on their legs. It is also published that the fire ants formed a 20-centimeter in diameter raft during experiments, the largest size raft created in the lab.

To the astonishment of the researchers, the raft formed by the group of the fire ants can pop back to the surface even when submerged by a few centimeters in to water by an outside force. The ants’ raft forms a bubble around them, which allows them not to drown.

Perhaps its time, humans too understood the power of co-operating and grouping and learned from the not so intelligent living creatures.

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