See it yourself: ant navigation

You’ve probably seen long lines of ants outside, and they are able to follow each other because they leave a chemical trail. Just like Hansel and Gretel, ants follow their path back home, and you can see this in action with this simple experiment.

1. Set up two platforms connected by lolly sticks, two upside down tupperware boxes are perfect. Carefully collect some ants and put them on one side of the bridge and put some leaves on the other side.

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2. The ants will make their way across to the leaves, usually taking the shortest path. You won’t be able to see it, but they will be leaving a chemical trail.

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3. When the ants return, switch the lolliop sticks around.

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4. The ants will continue to use the first stick, even though it’s been moved. When you’re finished, make sure you put the ants back where you found them!

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If you try this experiment yourself, why not leave comment with your findings!

 

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Image from flickr.com/photos/47000103