Scientists reveal the hidden secrets of ant rafts

June 15, 2014 7:52 PM

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Scientists reveal the hidden secrets of ant rafts

When an area floods, fire ants will work together to create a massive, waterproof raft out of their bodies to stay alive. Now, scientists have taken a closer look at this raft-building behavior, revealing how these industrious insects manage to stay afloat.

Fire ants grasp onto one another with their mandibles and legs at a force of 400 times their body weight in order to create these rafts. Yet scientists wanted to see the strongest parts of the structure and how exactly they connect. That’s why the scientists froze ant rafts and then scanned them wit...

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