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

September 8, 2014

ant-chains.jpg

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.

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