A mass of ants behaving like a fluid so they can get things done

Here are side-by-side video clips comparing a bunch of fire ants with different kinds of liquid.

Fire ants use their claws to grip diverse surfaces, including each other. As a result of their mutual adhesion and large numbers, ant colonies flow like inanimate fluids. This film shows how ants behave similarly to the spreading of drops, the capillary rise of menisci, and gravity-driven flow down a wall. By emulating the flow of fluids, ant colonies can remain united under stressful conditions.

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