The latest on the bug beat: To survive floods, fire ants band together to form a raft. They can sail for weeks. But how does the raft stay afloat? Researchers report the answer in PNAS this week.
Plus, engineers at Tufts are looking to the caterpillar
for inspiration for soft-bodied robots. The problem is that squishy bodies make it difficult to move quickly--but some caterpillars have developed a workaround.
fire ant footage, photos: Nathan Mlot, Craig Tovey, David Hu, Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; caterpillar footage: Huai-Ti Lin, Gary G Leisk, Barry Trimmer, Tufts University