A(i)nt They Clever? Fire Ants Built Living Raft to Save Queen

fire ant colony living raft

The behavior of ant colonies is truly fascinating. They work as a unit to protect and nurture their colony and its queen at any cost. This is especially evident in this incredible video from the BBC of Amazonian fire ants forming a living raft to protect their queen and her larvae. The rain forest floor is covered in several inches of water from a flood, which you might think would extinguish this ant colony. But they find a way to survive the hard times.

By linking their legs, the ants form a living raft and carry the colony, including the queen and her eggs and larvae, to safer ground. The ants are relatively helpless while floating on the water; they are at the mercy of fish who calmly pluck a few from the bunch. But when they finally reach dry ground again, they simply dry themselves off and start hunting for a new home.

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See more in Earth & Nature or under Science. December, 2009.