Swimming Ants

Posted on March 13, 2006  Comments (2)

Scientists discover swimming ants

North Queensland scientists have discovered a new type of ant, believed to be the only species that can live, swim and navigate under water.

The ants nest in submerged mangroves and survive by hiding in air pockets and then swimming to the surface.

“I was actually working with a film crew working on insects in the mangroves and they wanted to film one of these ants and I said, ‘Well, lets put it on a rock in a puddle of water and that’ll stop it going away and then you’ll be able to film it,’ and the ant promptly just leapt off the edge of the rock and swam across the water and disappeared.

“We were sort of dumbfounded.”

Dr Robson says it is amazing that the ants can survive in such a hostile environment.

“We’ve been doing a lot of studies on their foraging behaviour and there’s a lot of things that eat them, so when they’re swimming, fish will sometimes eat them, mud skippers will eat them, crabs will attack them,” he said.

It is great to see experts can still be so suprised by nature.

Unique northern ants gain global attention

2 Responses to “Swimming Ants”

  1. Curious Cat » Leafhopper Feeding a Gecko
    March 15th, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

    “The leafhopper feeds on the sap of the tree. And the Gecko will stop by and wait to be fed…”

  2. Curious Cat: Life in a bubble
    August 21st, 2008 @ 10:15 am

    “Thanks to those air bubbles, insects can stay below the surface indefinitely and dive as deep as about 30 meters…”

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