Mind the Gap

  January 3, 2016

 Have you ever tried trekking through treacherous terrian and tried to take short cuts to reduce the time and effort it takes to reach your destination? It turns out army ants are really good at mapping out the most efficient route for themselves. They not only build dynamic and complex bridges with their bodies to fill gaps and to create shortcuts on the forest floor but they also widen, move, extend or change the bridge’s shape as and when required to accomplish a particular task.

It is the small worker ants who participate in this bridge-making process. The ant workers use hooks at the end of their legs to intertwine with each other to form their bridges. The bridge, comprising a number of army ants, assembles and disintegrates in a matter of seconds, allowing the ants to move at quickly across strange, hostile and uncertain territories.

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