Why Ants Never Lose Their Way


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The revelations that came from scientists in Rio de Janeiro, who studied termite-hunting ants using sophisticated microscopes, are quite astonishing.

Just like the human-built GPS systems, these tiny creatures have magnets built into their antennas, which help them navigate. However, while the human system relies on huge expensive satellites, ants get their magnetic navigation powers from the minerals in the soil and the earth's magnetic field.

The researchers believe that little creatures pick up mineral particles, especially iron oxide in their antennas and use them to pick up the extremely weak signals of the Earth's magnetic field (1/20,000 that of a refrigerator magnet). The researchers also believe that not all ants navigate in this manner - Some, like the desert ants have developed special eyes and use the movement of the Sun as their GPS guide.

These findings just add to array of other amazing things that scientists have found about these industrious little creatures. They not only have the largest brain when compared to other insects their size, but one with a processing power that equals the computer that controlled the first NASA moon mission. If that is not enough, it was recently discovered that ants communicated with each other by talking - but not in the usual squeaky animal way - Instead, they stroke the ridges of their abdomen to convey messages to each other. We wonder what else we will find about these tiny but amazing little insects.

sources: discovery.com, dailmail.co.uk

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  • tristen
    tristenover 6 years
    awesome but the video dose not exist but still awesome
    • lapo
      lapoalmost 8 years
      I knew that ants never sleep but I did not know that
      • toco
        tocoalmost 8 years
        I hate ants
        • Kendracoolabout 10 years
          • AwesomeRockistalmost 11 years
            • 莉娜 Lì nuó Lenaover 11 years
              darn fur darn pants. no video
              • Ellieover 12 years
                That is weird!!
                • Rocker87over 12 years
                  that's so nasty but cool