In addition to using the position of the sun as compass to find their way home, ants also use an inbuilt pedometer that tracks how many steps they have taken. To show that this step-tracking mechanism is important to ants’ sense of direction, researchers changed the sizes of the steps by either tying them to tiny stilts or shortening the ants’ legs, and found that those with stilts legs go 50% further than the required distance to home, before pacing back and forth. Those with shorter legs were lost at about half the distance to home.

———-

Further reading:

The Ant Odometer: Stepping on Stilts and Stumpshttp://science.sciencemag.org/content/312/5782/1965

What do the ants know about the rotation of the sky?http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v293/n5835/abs/293731a0.html

Posted by:bojushih

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s