Skip to content

BAD PARENTING: Ants use their newborns as rafts in flood situations

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/24/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Many baby ants survive the ordeal with a 79 percent success rate

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.

Research proved that 79 percent of the young ants were able to survive their ordeal after eight hours under water.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/24/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Ants, rafts, infant insects, buoyancy, Switzerland


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.

Stay warm in style -- by going here:

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.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


Comments


More Green

Scientists alarmed as West Antarctic ice melts at three times normal rate Watch

Image of Scientists warn that ice melt is accelerating.

New research shows West Antarctica is losing ice at triple the normal rate and is contributing to rapid sea level rise. The cause appears ... continue reading


The World is Rumbling -- Volcanic activity is spiking, but why? Watch

Image of Vulcan de Fuego.

The world is rumbling with volcanoes erupting and earthquakes caused by their activity. But why?  LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Uh oh, Pope Francis calls Big Oil to the 'woodshed' for a little talk Watch

Image of Pope Francis often calls people to the Vatican to either honor them, or to 'talk' to them.

The Vatican is a nice place to visit, but it isn't a place you want to be called to visit by the Pope. Unless you are a tireless human ... continue reading


Heatwave grips the Arctic as apocalypse looms Watch

Image of Communities once built on permafrost are being devastated by the warming conditions.

A heatwave is wreaking havoc on the Arctic as the Bering Sea ice melts a month early. These events are far from superficial. They impact ... continue reading


Earth Day 2018: We are stewards of Creation, and we must act like it Watch

Image of Earth belongs to God and we are its stewards.

Sunday was Earth Day and Pope Francis called for us "to see the world through the eyes of the God the Creator." As news accumulates to ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 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 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.