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With "drugs", who needs a home? - An experiment on ants behavior
02-24-2012, 11:20 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-15-2012, 11:29 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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Tongue  With "drugs", who needs a home? - An experiment on ants behavior
An experiment on ants behavior.

Have you ever played with ants when you were a child?

I did haha... It could even be called an experiment of one's loyalty to his own family/home.
Once, I even kept several ants as pets for a few days before releasing them!
Here is the whole story - It is a little long but I am sure you it is quite interesting.

First time I used a small paper box of no more than 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1.5 inches high. I caught a garden black ant and throw it into the box. Then I sealed it with some sheets of plastic with little holes on the top. The ant went crazy when it realized it had lost, and it was running around looking for way out. The next morning, sadly that single ant died.

Second time, I caught a few ants, like 5~6 of them.
As soon as they entered the box, they ran wild just like the first one. I guess the feeling of you are suddenly lost and no idea how to get home is terrible! Just as they were still running around like crying children who lost their way home, I dropped a very tiny drop of honey into the box. Because I remember how ants LOVE sweet things, like sugar and honey. It is their "drug".

Guess what? "With honey, I don't even want my home and family any more"!
That's what happened lol !
As soon as the first wildly running ant ran into the honey, it stopped and claimed down, and started putting its head against the honey! It was so small, so I couldn't see how it was eating honey, but I was sure it was eating it. One by one, the other 5~6 ants all found their way to the tiny drop of honey, and they all claimed down and gathered around the honey like the first one!

Jesus! lol. I guess to some "people", nice food is more important than remembering how to get back to their own home!

While these homeless ants were still enjoying their honey meal, I took some backyard dirt and built a little "hill" on one side of the small box, and then I used a tiny stick to poke several tunnels on it, and I made sure a few of the tunnels connected. Then I kept watching.

The homeless ants stopped at the tiny drop of honey for a very long time. Every one of them got their belly enlarged to the point you can see the honey inside because their belly had become so big that it turned transparent !

After the meal, which took at least an hour. These homeless ants started to explore again, but this time, they are much more claim. It wasn't long before they found the small tunnels on the dirt "hill" I built for them. They all entered the tunnels and stayed inside.

What's next? I caught 3 more ants from the backyard from the same colony and dropped them into the box. Immediately these new comers ran wildly. One of them ran onto the little hill with crazy speed, as soon as he ran by one of the tunnel entrances, one of the earlier ants came out and used its funiculus to touch the new comer's funiculus. The new homeless ant immediately claimed down, and after a few more seconds "exchange of greetings", they both entered the tunnel. One of the other 3 new homeless dude did the same, while the third fell for the "drug" honey like the earlier ones.

Hours later, it seems all the two groups of homeless ants fit in pretty well. They sometimes would come out of the tunnel to have some "drugs", then return to the tunnel.

I felt like I was doing a research on ants behavior! Even it was a lot time ago when I was still a kid haha !

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04-13-2012, 11:19 PM,
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Monica9975 Offline
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RE: With "drugs", who needs a home?
You were such a curious boy!Interested in exploring secrets about animals' behavior lol.Well,those ants like "drugs" that is a normal phenomenon.Many ants go outside their home just for looking for some food.In other words,their majoy problem is to get food to survive.Only getting enough food,will they have energy to do other things,like finding way to go back home.What's more,they like sweet things.Just like many of us love chocolate lol.
Another thing i want to say is those ants stay in amity with each other.Is that a naturalism?And i'm glad that they help each other when they come across difficulties.
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04-15-2012, 11:25 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: With "drugs", who needs a home?
Hey, I am not a boy any more. It was done over a decade ago. I just thought it was interesting. You can call it an experiment on ants behavior. Many scientists and researchers actually spend $$$ to do experiments and studies on such subjects.

We all know that ants lost their way home will die. It seems it is not the case as long as they have their "drug" - honey. Big Grin

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02-12-2013, 08:24 AM,
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4sweed Offline
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RE: With "drugs", who needs a home? - An experiment on ants behavior
Speaking of interesting ant behavior, when I lived in Florida, it was strange watching how the ants moved around the yard when it flooded from a hard rain. If the long line of ants reached a shallow ditch full of water they would pile on top of one another until they formed a bridge, then the last ones in line would cross the bridge of ants, then one-by-one, the bridge came apart as the ants continued on their journey. It was fun to watch and it was done by the fire ants, as well as, normal black ants.
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