|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Back from bicycling: long legs are useful|
And I thought that I was smarter than any ant, but here is a humiliating exemple to the contrary. The Desert ant, Cataglyphis bicolor , which I found near Médenine, Tunisia, has very long legs as you see. They keep the ant away from the hot ground and they serve to cover dozens of meters in good speed. The intellectual problem for the ant is the navigation on flat, feature-poor surfaces. (In contrast to other ants, the desert variety does not lay down odour trails). When leaving its nest it starts searching for food (e.g. pieces of Emmental cheese in the case of the experimental setup of Rüdiger Wehner’s research group on an abandoned sports field in Mahres). The ant searches in loops and runs in many directions. When the food morsel is found by chance the ant wants to head straight back home. To find the way back the ant has memorized numbers and angles and does some fancy calculations in its tiny brain, resulting in what direction to take, how much distance to cover. What the researchers also found: the ant uses the number of steps for distance measuring and the angles of its body to the sun for direction. From the convoluted search pattern it can distill mentally the right angle and distance back home! I won’t tell you about the hard time I had myself to find my way to a hotel despite a map and a GPS.
Literature: Wittlinger M., Wehner R. and Wolf H. 2006. The ant odometer: stepping on stilts and stumps. SCIENCE 312: 1965-1967
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- [2016-07-20 12:18]
Hi Dietrich,very interesting post about these ants so curious,with elegant and big legs.A perfect capture from the south Tunisia,very sharp and bright. Thanks to your note too,now i can see that the map view of TN works after long time! Have a nice evening! Luciano
Seen your work after years, Dietrich. Welcome back!
This is indeed a curious study of these long-legged Ants.
Your macro well illustrates your note about them.
Thanks and regards.
Keep coming back!
- [2016-07-21 10:12]
me like you, not following Latin but it need correction as you got a nice TOY.
Here is the difference between a Biologist and non-Biologist. Although I have posted ants activity long before here in TN, but didn't add such informative NOTE. So thank you very much.
Five ants - and "ODD NUMBER" composition always works well.
- [2016-07-22 5:31]
Konnte es fast nicht glauben..Dieter ist zurück auf TN! Und natürlich mit einem vorbildlichen Posting,gutes Bild und hochinteressante Erklärungen. Warst also in Tunesien auf Velotour..