Myrmecos

Sunday Night Movie: Swimming Ants

From “Life in the Undergrowth“, perhaps the finest insect documentary ever made, a scene featuring Australia’s intertidal ants:

A few years back I traveled through northern Queensland with myrmecologists Phil Ward and Gary Alpert. Having heard about the aquatic abilities of these ants, we searched for them in a mangrove forest just outside the Cairns airport while waiting for our flight. After a bit of looking, Phil found a foraging trail of large black ants going up a mangrove trunk.

We dropped a few into the water below, and sure enough- swimming ants! It’s a remarkable behavior.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Stone
    April 25, 2010

    Pretty stunning footage, and I do wholeheartedly agree with you regarding endorsement of the documentary.

  2. #2 Bob Carlson
    April 25, 2010

    Now we know the origin of the Australian crawl. :)

  3. #3 Kurt
    April 26, 2010

    Awesome indeed. Love all 5 episodes of it.

  4. #4 Marc "Teleutotje" Van der Stappen
    April 26, 2010

    It’s fabulous to see them actually swim! Very nice indeed. And when you hear the commentator you can’t be surpriced because all his documentaries are very good!

  5. #5 James C. Trager
    April 26, 2010

    Very nice video.

    BTW, I saw an episode of the new Discovery “Life” series that had qutie a bit of ant footage — Might be worth looking up for this feature in the future. I seem to recall a “fail” that could be discussed. Somehow, Oprah doesn’t quite live up to the standard of Sir David, but at least she’s got to be good for drawing in new audience members for this grand show of life on Earth.

  6. #6 wright1
    April 26, 2010

    Astounding. What a wonderful adaptation; I’d never heard of this species before. Thanks for the video!

  7. #7 peteryeeles
    April 26, 2010

    I have a mental image of you hopping on a Qantas flight covered in that nice black mangrove mud!

    These are very cool ants indeed.

  8. #8 ptantfan
    April 29, 2010

    How on earth do they get that footage? Astounding. Inside a sunken nest! Waterproof, macro lenses? Mind boggling.

  9. #9 above ground pools
    December 13, 2010

    Hello Alex,

    I have not ever heard about this type of ants. They have quality of swimming,then definitely it is very exciting for me,because i love knowing something special and innovative in nature.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  10. #10 Houston Pool Builders
    March 22, 2011

    Oprah doesn’t quite live up to the standard of Sir David, but at least she’s got to be good for drawing in new audience members for this grand show of life on Earth.

  11. #11 sesliroom
    March 22, 2011

    Somehow, Oprah doesn’t quite live up to the standard of Sir David, but at least she’s got to be good for drawing in new audience members for this grand show of life on Earth.

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