How do ants get their way back?

The ant behavior of walking towards the back to return to its nests sparked the curiosity of scientists, who tried to figure out how these insects returned to their nests in this strange way.

According to a study by a team of researchers, ants use a number of ways to find their way, and they can recognize familiar landscapes even when they are walking back, a high level of visual development for such a small insect.

According to Pauline Fleischmann, a neuroscientist from Julius Maximilian University in Würzburg, Germany, these are beautiful behavioral experiences when we see how ants move in their natural environment with high skills.

The study, which the Science Magazine website published details of, indicated that when moving forward, the ants use a strategy called "path integration", where he remembers his sense of the transformations and turns he made and the number of steps he took from the nest, and also uses it to calculate the fastest path back.

The ants also depend on the location of the sun to determine its location, looking around the path that they took and remembering some landmarks that could help them on the return journey.

The ants also know the way back to the nest by walking backwards by dropping their food, turning to see the path, before they pick the crumbs again, and completing their hiking trails.

Commenting on these findings, Sebastien Schwarz, a scientist at the University of Paul Sabatier, said: "We wanted to find out if the ants know anything visually while walking backwards."

Schwarz and his colleagues discovered that the ants who had already walked to their nest in the desert walking backwards, had information about the path and had taken advantage of them on the way back.

And among the exciting information that scientists also reached is that the eyes of ants have a wide viewing angle, about 360 degrees, while humans can only see about a third of their surroundings without turning their heads.

After analyzing the behavior of ants, Schwarz was able to create a model that illustrates the conditions in which insects depend on their visible surroundings against other sources of information such as the sun's angle or a step counter to find the way back to the nest.

Schwarz says future experiments will include covering an ant's eye with paint to see how his navigation strategies are changing.

 

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