BAD PARENTING: Ants use their newborns as rafts in flood situations
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/24/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
It first sounds like a shining example of the ruthlessness of nature. Ants, when faced with the possibility of flooding, use their youngest to line rafts in order to float to safety. This is among the latest findings from researchers at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Fear not: the baby ants usually survive, with a 79 percent survival rate.
Research proved that 79 percent of the young ants were able to survive their ordeal after eight hours under water.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scientists say that the ants build rafts out of their own bodies to survive floods, with their babies at the bottom, on the water. Ants line the bottoms of these makeshift rafts with their own highly buoyant young.
This potentially puts the youngest ants in harm's way, as fish can come along and eat them. It has been proved that this rather barbaric practice maintains the colony's integrity. The situation takes advantage of the natural buoyancy of brood ants and lets the adult worker ants to recover more quickly.
The research also proved that 79 percent of the young ants were able to survive their ordeal after eight hours under water.
The ants also use their babies as life rafts during these floods, according to the study. This unusual behavior was observed in ants living in flood plains and may have evolved from ants living in the rainforest of Brazil long ago.
The practice is brought into play whenever large colonies of ants are caught in water. Creating rafts from their own bodies, the ants link together into a flat circle. Able to trap air beneath the group, these "living structures" are usually three to four ants thick, containing a total of 500 to 8,000 individuals under laboratory conditions. "Ant raft" can contain up to 100,000 ants in rural conditions.
"By causing groups of ants to raft in the laboratory, we observe that workers are distributed throughout the raft, queens are always in the center, and 100% of brood items are placed on the base. Through a series of experiments, we show that workers and brood are extremely resistant to submersion," the researchers wrote.
Not all of the ants were pleased with their placing on the hierarchy. Some of the insects were forced to take positions in the water, or on the edge of rafts.
"We find that ants can considerably enhance their water repellency by linking their bodies together, a process analogous to the weaving of a waterproof fabric. We present a model for the rate of raft construction based on observations of ant trajectories atop the raft. Central to the construction process is the trapping of ants at the raft edge by their neighbors, suggesting that some "cooperative" behaviors may rely upon coercion," researchers wrote.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa. That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.
Large 14 Foot Crack in Headworks? Cracking Radial Gate Steel tendons? Threat to Spillway yet no Repairs in 2017? Watch
A threatening 14 foot crack growing in a massive 5 foot thick concrete pier at Radial Trunnion Gate 8 in Oroville's Spillway Headworks? DWR ... continue reading
A once beautiful uninhabited island, a sanctuary to multiple endangered species, is now revealed to be the most polluted place on Earth ... continue reading
Mysteries to the clues of Oroville Dam's leakage revealed in historical dam images? Does DWR/DSOD already know that there is a leak ... continue reading
With all the attention paid to global warming these days, what would happen if our climate disaster came from the other direction --in the ... continue reading
"A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system," warns Pope ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- 26 Coptic Christians dead after heinous attack HD Video
- St. Joan of Arc: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 30, 2017
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, May 30, 2017
- To honor the lost: A brief history of Memorial Day
- A Big Thank You from JESUS IS - The Series HD Video
- What does the Holy Spirit reveal to us?
- Newborn baby filmed 'WALKING' shortly after birth
- Day 5 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Day 4 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Day 3 - Novena to the Holy Spirit for a New Pentecost for the Church HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.