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Amazing Gliding Ants

Amazing Gliding Ants

The tree-nesting tropical ant Cephalotes atratus can glide forwards and backwards in a directed flight. The ants steer themselves by changing the position of their hind legs, mid legs and gaster (the bulbous posterior segment of their bodies). See them here:

Other ants who exhibit this falling behavior live in Africa, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and the United States.

The Smithsonian blog gives a fuller account not only of how the ants perform this unusual behavior and also how scientists manage even to study the tiny insects falling in the forests, using ropes, canopy walkways, construction towers, video cameras and even wind tunnels.

Move over, flying squirrel!

 

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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33 comments

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3:56AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:38PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

why is someone dropping them?

8:59AM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

wonderful

6:51PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

noted

4:36PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

interesting article

3:59PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

if u dropped me from that far i'd fly too lol

3:30PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Very interesting article , Tks for sharing ...

3:01PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Geronimo!

12:30PM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

interesting thanks!!

11:57AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

My daughter loves bugs. This was neat.

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