Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fire ants writhe to make unsinkable rafts - life - 26 November 2013 - New Scientist

Fire ants writhe to make unsinkable rafts - life - 26 November 2013 - New Scientist: A raft of live fire ants, on the other hand, resists and dissipates external forces equally well on all scales. The ants can act as tiny, resistive springs by flexing and extending their legs, and they break and reform connections with their neighbours to create a flow around external forces, like being prodded with sticks. Importantly, rafts of live ants are significantly more elastic than those made of flash-frozen dead ants.

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