Clever Ants Form Chains To Drag Dead Millipede Back To Their Mound

September 8, 2014


This is video of a rarely seen behavior by ants in which they form 'daisy-chains' to haul away something much larger than themselves. In this case, a dead millipede. Could you imagine being an ant out foraging for food when you stumble across a dead millipede? JACKPOT. That's how you earn the ant of the month award right there.

Eminent ant expert and ecologist, Christian Peeters from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France wrote to Wild to say he'd observed this behaviour four years ago in Cambodia with his colleague Stéphane De Greef. Also belonging to the Leptogenys genus, Peeters's ants were seen forming lines by locking their mandibles to the preceding ant's gaster, which is a part of the body that sits between the ant's first and second segment. Together these 16-mm-long ants were pulling millipedes that were around 130 mm long.

Well, it looks like ants are officially better at working together to accomplish a common goal than any of my coworkers. We can't even hold meetings anymore. You know why? Because they put me in charge of coordinating everyone's schedules. So I don't do it, then blame whoever is currently out of town for never getting back to me. I'm a team player.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to PYY, who agrees we could learn a lot from ants. But mostly just stuff about living underground.

  • KeKyKo

    And that is how the Pyramilipedes were built.

  • Andyman7714

    Did you see the ants on top of the millepede screaming "Muad'Dib"?

  • joevsyou

    When I had an ant problem in my house few months ago, This ant had a piece of food big as his body and was trying go up the wall to the window where there was a small hole. Well every time he got halfway he would slide down, Well all the other ants started to push him up the wall from behind to prevent him from sliding.

    I sat there for good 10 minutes just watching lol. I usually hit them with som dawn water to kill them, but this time I let them survive, because I found it interesting to watch.

  • Malcolm Fried

    This is why the innocents die; they simply aren't worth watching.

  • Christian Lemus

    All hail our new ant overlords!

  • asdfadfs
  • MustacheHam

    This crazy collaboration of these ants instantly reminds me of Larva Cartoon "Attentive to the Ants"

  • dougfunnay

    AA 0013, june 14

    dear holoslab:
    ive been having the dreams again.....

    we were all worried about the robots
    constantly obsessing over whether or not they could be trusted
    how could they be given the vote.... we dont know what theyre capable of
    .....hell we dont even know if theyre truly alive....HA! what fools we were

    nobody ever paid the humble ant any heed just a pest
    a minor annoyance

    living our lives blissfully unaware of their true capabilities

    .....until it was too late
    .....well ......were paying heed now
    whats left of us anyway

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