Middle East and North Africa's deserts live a certain kind of ant, namely desert ant.
They have a very unusual way of acquiring food.
When the sun is highest and the sand is at its hottest give the ants out on short hikes.
Desert ants live primarily in picking up animals that have succumbed to the intense heat of the day.
To cope with such a life has ants utveklatett special appearance and special "hunting methods". This is discussed in the article "Desert ants always find home" by Susanne Åkesson, published in the journal "Research and Progress" # 7/98.
Desert ants have a very unusual posture, their back body pointing straight up in the air, this means that they can pivot around very rapidly. They also have very long legs, which increases the distance from the hot sand. All this is an adjustment to the hikes ants do, away from the cool nest hole, as it makes up to 10 times a day. Their body chemistry is also adapted to withstand high heat, such as body stores heat resistant proteins just before they go to the desert.
Despite all customizable live ants on the verge of heat death on his walks. To survive, they need to find homes quickly. Desert ants rush home and some species runs up to 50 meters a minute, more than a hundred times their own body length per second, it would represent a man who ran 100 yards in 0.6 seconds.
Desert ants uses a very sophisticated navigation systems. As the scent trail method, used by most other myrsorter, is inappropriate in desert climates, it records the distance and direction to the nest during their migrations. Moreover, using the ants various landmarks to find your way around.
When they are in the vicinity of the nest, they look systematically after opening by running in ever increasing circles with the same starting point. When the ant is further away from the nest she uses both of landmarks and partly by UV pattern for the sun, which is invisible to humans, to navigare back.
Since the ant's nervous system is very limited, they can not store the landmark abstract as people do, rather than storing the two-dimensional memory images. When the latter should find their way back, they approach landmarks until the snapshot coincide exactly with the memory image. To the ant should match the pictures, the body must be facing the same direction as when the memory image "taken". Ants can also distinguish between the nearby landmarks and distant, but only when they are in motion, as they remove marks passes slowly over the eye than the nearby.
Ökenmyrornas compound eyes are composed of between 800 and 1200 delögon, depending on the ant species and size. Their point of view is almost 360 degrees. When the insect stores land the marks, it uses delögon in the middle part of which is directed towards the horizon. Each memory image is fixed with a specific area of delögon of a particular eye. Eg if an ant looking at a stone that the "remember" with the left eye with his right eye will not recognize the stone.
Another way to find home or at a known location where the food there is to plot a course. To plot a course using the ants of the pattern of polarized ultraviolet light. Desert ants have special delögon sitting in the top part of each eye to process the UV radiation. When the ant is parallel to their eyes with UV pattern, ie with the head in the direction of the sun or the sun on your back, the UV-sensitive delögon maximally stimulated. If the ant differs from that angle reduces the stimulation. A special nerve-filter converts this stimulation to the course and then sent on to higher levels of the nervous system. Since the UV pattern changes depending on the sun moves across the sky, this method has a major drawback. Fixed in ökenmyrornas cases will do it, because the ants 'tours' are usually in no more than twenty minutes.
To determine how far the ant ran it uses two methods, one is to measure race-speed and the second is to count steps. The ant has two different systems for measuring distance and for the systems to back out one another and partly to the distances to be measured as accurately as possible.
When the ant will determine the speed using the the lower part of the eye, which records including how quickly the ground passes. In various experiments, the researchers manipulated the ant so that the ground was moving either too fast or too slow. In cases where the ground was moving faster, thought the ant that it ran much longer, and when it would return to boöppningen ran it too far, and vice versa in the case when the ground was moving slowly.
Myran's perception about the course and the distance is approximate, and it occurs all the time small errors when the ant turns. But as desert ants rarely turns sharply in his walks and in addition they swing just as far to the left as to the right, usually the errors cancel out.
Researchers at Zurich University have built a robot that partially simulates desert ant navigation. This robot helps test various theories. Susanne Åkesson, the article's author, hope that the knowledge that scientists have had when they built the robot in the future will help to create better machines for practical purposes.
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