Ants with the largest eyes, yes largest eyes, lives in the tropical rain forests of French Guina. These ants, called as Gigantiops destructor, embark on their foraging behaviour individually, without making trails. A recent study to determine the unique navigational skills of this ant was conducted by a team of researchers at CNRS, France. They confined ants in a dome like structure and trained them to navigate to different locations and recorded individual ant’s path. On their way out of the nest, ants navigate around the conspicuous landmark closest to its nest and on their way in they navigate around a landmark closest to the food source. What’s fascinating is that en route to a goal, individual ants established idiosyncratic routes by slaloming around different landmarks. Does the slalom car racer come to mind?
From: Macquart et al. 2005. J Comp Physiol A: DOI 10.1007/s00359-005-0064-7. I was fortunate to have been at this paper’s presentation at ICE 2005 in Budapest.