Contributed by Marielle Grenade-Willis
With the a seemingly nonstop slew of natural disasters occurring recently, like the flooding that has devastated areas such as Texas and Florida due to hurricanes, animals are being impacted more than ever…even the ants. However, scientists have found that fire ants can form rafts and towers if their colonies are flooded. “Drop a clump of 100,000 fire ants in a pond of water – or flood a huge area of Texas that’s infested with fire ants and drive them out of their nests in large groups. In minutes the clump will flatten and spread into a circular pancake that can float for weeks without drowning the ants. Drop the same clump of ants near a plant on solid ground. They’ll climb atop each other to a form a solid mass around the plant stem in the shape of the Eiffel Tower – sometimes as high as 30 ants tall. The ant tower serves as a temporary encampment that repels raindrops.” This amazing capability shows how even the ant can adapt to changing climate conditions.