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Why Ants Make Rafts to Save the Queen

Ants

Scientists have figured out how ants that live in flooded areas can link their bodies together to form buoyant rafts that protect the queen and much of her brood.

| March 6, 2014

When the need arises, ants that live in flooded areas can link their bodies together to form buoyant rafts that protect the queen and much of her brood. Now scientists have figured out how they do it, the New York Times reports.

The researchers collected ants from a flood plain in Switzerland and exposed them to flooding in a laboratory. Writing in the journal PLOS One, they reported that the queen was given a place at the center of the raft for the greatest protection; unexpectedly, though, it was the larvae and pupae that formed the raft’s base.

Source: New York Times

 

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