Ants on Stilts for Science
Posted on June 30, 2006 Comments (4)
When Ants Go Marching, They Count Their Steps by Bjorn Carey
The ant “pedometer” technique was first proposed in 1904, but it remained untested until now.
Scientists trained desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, to walk along a straight path from their nest entrance to a feeder 30 feet away. If the nest or feeder was moved, the ants would break from their straight path after reaching the anticipated spot and search for their goal.
A simple example of the scientific process (another one posted yesterday about birds and global warming).
After getting used to their new legs, the ants were able to adjust their pedometer and zero in on home more precisely, suggesting that stride length serves as an ant pedometer.