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Ants That Can Count

November 25th, 2009 11:52 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

thisIsOdd writes “NPR had a recent report about scientists at the University of Ulm who suggest that ants in desert environments count to help them get to and from their homes. Because the desert’s windiness and sandiness is not conducive the ‘smell-trail’ method, where ants squeeze certain glands that leave a chemical trail, scientists were puzzled by the fact that these desert ants were able to leave and successfully return to their nest. The theory is called the ‘pedometer theory,’ and the experiment used to test it involves manipulating the leg length of some of these ants. Ants with longer legs would pass the nest on the way home, and ones with shorter legs came up… well… short.”

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