something about ants

I think that ants should be directly awarded the most systematized specis on this planet, who are truly cosmopolitan in nature. Of course there is the human being, but that would be an entirely different story - with so many anatomical advantages.

As a child most of us have followed a line of ants on the garden or the attic - red, black, big, small, brown, flying, - you name and it is there! We have wondered where they must be going and how their home would be like! But its all child stuff and most of us don't care about them as we grow up. Well, apparently not all of us do forget about them, however. Doctor Mathias Wittlinger did a certain research about the journey of ants belonging to the genus Cataglyphis, as published in The Economist of early July 2006. It says,

...Saharan desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis have to travel long distances to discover food in their impoverished, sandy environment. How they find their way home once they have done so is a mystery. Ants in more temperate climates often lay down chemical trails, but Cataglyphis, apparently, does not. Like honeybees and ancient mariners, they can navigate by the sun, so they know the general direction in which to travel. But, also like ancient mariners (who knew their latitude, but no their longitude), such solar reckoning cannot tell them when to stop.

The summary is that Dr. Wittlinger has, in a way, testified through research an old hypothesis that desert ants have internal pedometers - in other words, they count their steps out, and they count them back. When one total matches the other, they are home!

For such a tiny being to count, remember, re-count and match them - truly incredible!

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