Ants move massive meals through : ‘Leaders and Lifters’.

 Scientists in Israel have discovered how ants co-ordinate to move big objects and food back to their nests.

The ants seem to work in groups as the large team does the lifting and the smaller ants collect information ‘scout’ and steer for short periods. They appear to have perfectly calculated balance between individuality and conformism researchers say.
​ The study according to ‘Journal nature communications’ used a very common species of ants called “longhorn crazy ant “.
The name reflects their nature as they dash here and there aimlessly. But new findings suggest their aimlessness has a lot of fine tuned behavior in it.

Pushy leaders

 The ant groups are tuned to be maximally sensitive to the ant leaders ,said the paper’s senior author Dr. Oter Feinerman, a physicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. 
The ants have the tendency to ‘go with the flow’ 90% of the time and the other 10% is to live up to their names.
That means everyone works as a group and avoids a fruitless tug-of-war but this brings erratic streaks of instability, since this allows single ants with new information to change the destination of the whole group. Dr. Feinerman  said, “they don’t have to prove anything to be a leader or even introduce herself-she just has to pull in the correct directions.
In the re-search the ants were given silicon disks of 8 cm or even 16 cm across and although they moved the disk in straight smooth lines navigating around the objects became merely impossible.
Therefore, Dr. Feinerman explained the system works best on medium sized objects about 1 cm so that they can squeeze through their nest entrance.
So, cat food was a perfect experiment – which was how the whole project got started.
Dr. Feinerman says”,one of my colleagues moved to a new apartment at the same time as he joined the lab ; and there were ant’s in his apartment stealing away cat food, so he came back with a movie the next day . we watched it and we realized it was very interesting”.
They have been working for four years now ever since that day .
When ants move objects they have a way of being very chaotic with some ants coming and some going. But; as chaotic as it looks there is actually very complicated science behind it. The ants who have information come to give the group a bit of steering, period, and keeps things more or less on track .