|Flying ant, commons|
DON’T TELL ME YOU’VE NEVER
HEARD OF FLYING ANTS!
Greetings again all my friends!
May you have had a blessed week and a blessed week to come! How have you been? I have had so many teeny tiny details to take care of my mind is having trouble keeping it all in, ha ha!
Speaking of teeny tiny, I discovered this fascinating fact about ants! Some species can fly, well glide anyway! Gliding ants are more common than you may think. As a matter of fact there are several different genera that are capable to
control the direction of their descent. All of these ants live in rainforest canopies which is common to most gliders. It seems these creatures have developed a way to adapt to being knocked off of tree branches while they are out foraging.
|flying ant, commons|
“Gliding ants have been shown to have an 85%" chance of landing successfully on the same tree, as opposed to 5% if they were simply parachuting like normal ants. This adaptation helps to keep ants from getting lost or killed on the forest floor, away from their treetop nests. During a fall, gliding ants use visual cues to locate tree trunks. Specifically,
they orient to light-colored columnar objects that sharply contrast the darker background of foliage in the forest. Tropical trees often have light-coloured bark and frequently are covered with white lichens, thus they provide the most conspicuous targets.” Their gliding pattern is typically in a J-shaped descending pattern using “its flatten head, hind legs and abdomen like wings or a parachute to make a rapid adjustment to point its abdomen (or head) towards the tree trunk. The ant then turns upside down and lands on the trunk, head facing the earth. The period of free fall is thought to be used by the ants to slow down to a minimum viable
glide velocity, to allow them to successfully direct their descent towards the tree. This explains why smaller ants have been observed to reach their trees sooner than do larger. A smaller body mass makes it easier to slow to the minimum viable glide velocity, allowing smaller ants to gain control of their falls more quickly. Many ants use long, flattened legs and wide, flanged heads to act as parachutes to control the direction of their descent, although controlled descent has also been observed in species of Pseudomyrmecinae that have more cylindrical bodies.”
|Flattened head and body of gliding ant, commons|
|Another species of gliding ant with extreme flattened head and body|
|Gliding and gliding upside down, commons|
Not all arboreal ants are gliders which brings into question; where is the evolutionary advantage of ants that can glide if non-gliders still exist to compete with them? But a brilliant Intelligent Designer like the Holy Trinity, would have no problem (and I imagine some fun), creating such creatures as with all the gliders we have studied over the past three weeks. It is the Lord who deserves praise for inventing the general concept of gliding animals, and the credit for inventing such a variety as to fit and fill so many diverse niches.
God bless and take care!
dead ant ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliding_ant
backwards glidig ant ; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/inkfish/2015/03/20/gliding-ant-flies-like-a-backward-superman/#more-2189
Bunte ant ; http://bilder.mzibo.net/tag/ameise/
Dorsal view and side view of flying ant ; The photographer and www.AntWeb.org