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Bridges, highways, scaffolds: how the amazing engineering of army ants can make us smarter creators – The Conversation AU

A type of structure called a ‘scaffold’ acts like a safety net for ants when they go foraging, preventing them from slipping on steep surfaces.



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Army ants (Eciton burchellii) are known for their vast foraging raids. Hundreds of thousands of ants flow like a river from their nest site, scouring the jungle as they prey on anything unable to escape the swarm.
These raids are enormous undertakings. A single raid can be 20 metres wide and 100 metres long, comprising more than 200,000 ants, running at 13 centimetres per second, and gathering up to 3,000 prey objects per hour.
To ensure traffic flows efficiently, army ants construct highways and…

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