Fire Ant Raft: Insects Link To Form Living, Unsinkable Boat (VIDEO)

Fire Ant Raft: Insects Link To Form Living, Unsinkable Boat (VIDEO)

Buford : GA : USA | Apr 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM PDT
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Not even a pool of water can put out these fire ants.

Scientist in Georgia have filmed incredible video showing how South American fire ants link together to form livinf-life rafts and avoid mass drownings in their natural rain forest habitat.

Georgia Institute of Technology engineering professor David Hu and graduate student Nathan J. Mlot, along with Georgia Tech systems-engineering professor Craig Tovey, collected fire ants and dropped them in water to test the ants' acclaimed survival skills.

"They'll gather up all the eggs in the colony and will make their way up through the underground network of tunnels, and when the flood waters rise above the ground, they'll link up together in these massive rafts," Mlot said.

In under two minutes, the insects spread across the water's surface, joining together to form a single drowning-resistant unit . Even the ants at the bottom survive by using their tiny body hairs to form a thin layer of air.

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sahussain is based in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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