How Army Ants Employ Innate Algorithms to Build Bridges With Own Bodies To Allow Them to Cross

Ants Build Bridges

In a study conducted by Biologist Simon Garnier of the Swarm Lab at the New Jersey Institute of Technology discovered some very interesting exhibited behavior in the way army ants approach a situational quandary. In encountering the end of their path, these ants organized themselves via an innate algorithm to build a bridge with their own bodies that eventually allow all of them to cross. Per Garnier, these army ants operate as a whole body.

We investigate the mechanisms by which army ants of the genus Eciton form dynamical structures out of their own bodies, by attaching to each other using special morphological adaptations. These collective “living” constructions allow them to create temporary nests and support structures along their densely populated foraging and migratory trails.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.