Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Ants Defy Naturalistic Expectations with their Impressive Navigation Skills

Image courtesy of Dawidi, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

Ants have recently made headlines in science publications.

They have been lauded for their farming skills, their engineering acumen, their innovation and even their mathematical skills.

A recent paper published in the journal Current Biology found another amazing skill. BBC News gives us the gist of their almost incredible ability:

Ants are even more impressive at navigating than we thought.

Scientists say they can follow a compass route, regardless of the direction in which they are facing.

It is the equivalent of trying to find your way home while walking backwards or even spinning round and round.

Experiments suggest ants keep to the right path by plotting the Sun's position in the sky which they combine with visual information about their surroundings

Engineers are hoping to use ant technology to build robots that are able to navigate in forests.

Tiny ants remind us of our big Creator God.


Briggs, Helen. 2017. Ants use Sun and memories to navigate. BBC News (19 January).