Live rafts of fiery ants

Fire ants are pretty small insects whose length does not exceed 6 mm. But despite its small size, they possess unique features that allow them to increasingly expand the area of ​​their habitat. Initially, fire ants lived in the tropics of South America, but over time, they could spread to the islands of the Caribbean and reach the territory of the United States, where they are recognized as a hazardous invasive view that threaten other animals.

Speaking about the advantages of fiery ants before other species, we mean not only their ability to stive up their victims and injected the strongest poison of Solenopsin, which, falling into fabric, causes a chemical burn (thanks to this ants and received their name "fiery"). The huge advantage of these insects in front of other animals is the ability to survive when flooding.

Historically, the territory of the South and North America is often flooded due to forming tropical hurricanes. Literally in a few hours, coastal areas are in the water: many animals die in the forests due to water, others have time to escape. It would seem that insects who could not fly should be doomed. But not only fiery ants.

They acquired a unique ability to form out of their own bodies "live" rafts that are held on the water. From several thousand to millions of individuals of fiery ants, they are joining each other in the platform a thickness of several centimeters and fearlessly float directly on the water. Between the bodies of the ants remain bubbles of air, so the living raft is not sinking, but those insects that remained under water use bubbles as reservoirs with oxygen.

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Ants are constantly in motion, replacing each other under water. Only eggs and the most valuable members of the colony - the queen and newborn ants remain on the surface.

In this state, the colony of fiery ants can stay on the water for several days until the water comes down or until the ants reach the dry plot. When other animals return to Earth, fiery ants will already have a firmly settle on the territory, therefore, with each new flood, these insects occupy more and more new regions.