Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A few days ago I observed a corridor built and used by ants that went over a path in fields:

enter image description here

Why do they build it? It seems it doesn't bring any considerable protection from the surrounding environment and it certainly costs them a lot of work.

The picture was taken in the morning when the temperature was low so there is no ant activity visible.

share|improve this question
    
How is that "protected"? It looks to me like there is a natural "cliff" which the ants are simply walking along. –  terdon May 14 '13 at 17:01
    
@terdon No, I'm quite sure they built it for some reasons. I've seen many of these structures on that place. You're right, I don't know if it's for their protection or for anything else. –  Petr Pudlák May 14 '13 at 17:04
    
I mean I do not see any protection. Since there is no wall on the "southern" side, there must be a difference in altitude between the "north" and "south" areas pictured. If the ants were creating this path by walking down it, there would be walls on both sides. At best, perhaps the ants created the path just by walking down it, if there is a difference in altitude that is exactly what would result with no active effort from the part of the ants other than the act of walking. That is how paths are formed after all. –  terdon May 14 '13 at 17:13
1  
Well, that's the thing, It can't be flat, if it were there would be no wall or the wall would be higher than the surrounding area which is not the case. The overhang would be created naturally by the ants' walking down the path and does not imply that it was done on purpose. –  terdon May 14 '13 at 17:38
1  
Ants like to keep their routes clean from debris. I think they just overdid it on this one or for some reason the surface itself looked like debris to them. –  user1897 May 16 '13 at 9:04

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.