Going inside an ant raft

Several years ago, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers took a close look at how fire ants work together to build waterproof rafts to stay alive. By looking at the edges and tops of rafts, the team discovered that ants grip each other with their mandibles and legs at a force of 400 times their body weight.

Now, the researchers have taken an even closer peek. They froze ant rafts and scanned them with a miniature CT scan machine to look at the strongest part of the structure – the inside – to discover how opaque ants connect, arrange and orient themselves with each other. “Now we can see how every brick is connected,” said Georgia Tech Assistant Professor David Hu. “It’s kind of like looking inside a warehouse and seeing the scaffolding and I-beams

Provided by Georgia Tech

Runtime: 1:02

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