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Tomographie aux rayons X de la structure interne d’une fourmilière

X-ray tomography of the internal structure of a nest of Lasius niger ants. In order to understand the architecture of the nest, research scientists took antheaps and then reconstructed them in 3D using data from an X-ray scanner. Here the chambers, in the form of bubbles, are nested tightly to each other. 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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