Ants found in the Amazon jungle can control their fall

The object of study by a group of researchers at the University of Louisville, led by ecologist Stephen Janovec, was the ants Cephalotes atratus, living on the tops of giant trees in the wilds of the Amazonian forests of Argentina. Scientists were amazed at the unique ability of insects: the moment they are torn off the branches by a gust of wind, they still "land" on the trunk of their tree. Otherwise, they would face imminent death.

As it turned out, this became possible due to the ability of Cephalotes atratus to shift the center of gravity when falling. This tactic makes the flight controllable and allows the ants to land strictly on their hind legs. Outwardly, the trajectory of their flight is somewhat reminiscent of the Latin "J".

As an experiment, the researchers dropped 120 ants from a height of about 30 meters, after which 95% returned to their native anthill, after only 10 minutes. In this, insects are also helped by the ability to orient themselves when falling relative to the trunk and the smell of pheromones - special chemicals secreted by ants.