Video Shows How Fire Ants Form Living Rafts in Water

Posted on April 26, 2011

Fire ants are known for their ability to survive floods by clinging together in a floating ball or fire ant raft. The exoskeletons of fire ants are slightly hydrophobic and when they link up into large groups they increase their hydrophobic nature. Nathan Mlot, a graduate student who works in Georgia Tech's ant lab, tested fire ants ability to stay afloat in an experiment. He put a group of fire ants in a tank of water and pushed down on them with tweezers. The video shows the fire ant ball remains dry even when pushed underwater. Take a look:

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