The amazing navigational abilities of ants

Mrówks are very hard-working creatures, and this everyone knows. Now, thanks to the work of scientistsów, we have learned of another unique feature of their. Mrówki have almost incredible navigational abilities in porówn comparison to other insectsów.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the French National Center for Scientific Research with coóWorking with colleagues at the University of Lincoln and the Australian National University, they looked at desert mróTo the species Cataglyphis velox. They even built a special track for them, where they scattered mrówkom pieces of cookies to study their ability to determine direction.

Mrówks in search of food venture very far from the anthill. But that doesn’t stop them from finding their way back. And it does not matter if they carry a small prey – in this case, they go forward towards the anthill, whether the piece of food they find is bigger than themselves and they have to pull it – then they walk backwards towards the anthill. It follows that the mrówks are not lost regardless of how their body is oriented in space. – Our mainóThe w e have found that mrówki can separate the direction of movement from the orientation of the body. – said Dr. Antoine Wystrach of the University of Edinburgh.

When mrówki drag their prey and follow their backs to their podr targetóry, every now and then they would turn their front and look around. This means that insects use a previously memorized view of their surroundings. – This shows that mrówki use three types of memories. Memory of the environment, memory of direction and memory of where the prey was left. This is impressive – added Wystrach.

Researchers have found that mrówki use the position of the Sun in the sky for orientation. In the event that the scientists fooled the mrówki falsifying the position of the sun by reflecting the sun’s rays in a mirror, mrówks lost the direction of.

The results of the experiments surprised scientistsów. No one suspected that such a sophisticated orientation system is housed in the heads of theóof insects smaller than a pin head. Further research into the navigational abilities of mrówek and the structure of their mózgów could result in better navigation in autonomous cars or at least in the construction of roboticóin able to move independently.

The findings were published in the journal „Current Biology”.