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Fourmis ouvrières "Lasius niger" construisant leur nid dans un dispositif expérimental

Worker ants, Lasius niger, building their nest in an experimental device. Small wooden pillars enable measurement of the height of the ants’ deposits of pellets. It appears that to determine from what height they begin to build laterally, the ants use their bodies as a gauge. These lateral deposits will eventually form capitals above the pillars that will progressively extend and form a makeshift roof. Antheaps exhibit an extremely complex and dynamic architecture. In fact, ants are constantly destroying the structures that they build and adapt their habitat to their environment, in particular the external meteorological conditions. Therefore, research scientists are trying to understand how these insects, guided by their collective intelligence, manage to build very elaborate structures while exhibiting simple individual behaviour.

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