Thursday, February 10, 2005

Next up: ant paratroopers

Today's Nature reports tree-dwelling ants who return to their home trunk by controlled free-fall. Scientists videotaped the bugs twisting their torsos to direct their flight path toward the home trunk, with an 80% success rate. (No word on the other 20%). Quoth the abstract, "a field experiment shows that falling ants use visual cues to locate tree trunks before they hit the forest floor." Who needs Tarzan?

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