Frozen Ant Rafts Could Teach Us How to Make Self-Assembling Robots

A writhing mass of fire ants floating across the water is thing of horror and a marvel of engineering. But how do you study the architecture of ever-squirming ants? By flash-freezing them and coating in glue, as scientists did for a recent study. Ant rafts, it turns out, are more complicated than you might think, and… » 6/12/14 10:00am 6/12/14 10:00am

Ants can incredibly flow like liquid or bunch together into a solid

The New York Times has a great little short about ants, specifically their ability to both flow like a liquid and become a solid ball. It's kind of gross but also pretty awesome in how twisted the duality is. Look at it above. On the left, it's a thick, syrupy liquid. On the right, it's a tight rubber ball. » 12/20/13 1:10am 12/20/13 1:10am

This amazing fruit fly evolved to have pictures of ants on its wings

This is unbelievable, but the fruit fly G tridens has somehow evolved to have what looks like pictures of ants on its wings. Seriously, its transparent wings have an ant design on them complete with "six legs, two antennae, a head, thorax and tapered abdomen." It's nature's evolutionary art painted on a fly's wings. » 11/08/13 9:06pm 11/08/13 9:06pm

Ants Will Give You Free Advertising If You Pee On The Billboard

Most people don't take a trip to the Amazon looking for publicity opportunities, but if you stumble on one you have to run with it, right? At Smarter Every Day, Destin and his rainforest guides took advantage of the complicated process leafcutter ants go through to forage for salt and got the ants to carry a little … » 5/26/13 6:15pm 5/26/13 6:15pm

Ants Have Been Using Internet Algorithms For Millions of Years

Mankind has been able to accomplish some pretty impressive things, but some of them were around long before we figured them out. Ants, for instance, hunt for food in a way that's basically the same as the Internet's Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and they were doing it long before the Internet was around. » 8/26/12 4:00pm 8/26/12 4:00pm