We often see on television all kinds of floods that wash away homes. Human beings, faced with this, the most we do is shrink the water using buckets; although we usually run away. But What if we chose to drink the water?
That’s what he does a kind of Malaysian ant. Well, actually, what he does is a mix of drinking water and scooping it up with buckets: he drinks it to urinate outside the house.
In the tropical jungles of Malaysia lives this ant called Cataulacus muticus, which has a special preference for residing in hollow tree trunks. The problem is that bamboo only grows where there is moistureso it is born and dies next to the rivers, which in the tropical jungles traditionally tends to flood everything that surrounds it.
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Thus, the habitat of these ants floods more frequently than a water park. Normally, ants leave your house when it floods, but not this kind of ant, stubborn as a mule.
Nor does it choose to install drains under the ground or build dikes in front of its entrances.
Some biologists from the Frankfurt University They wanted to know exactly what this species of ant did when the waters broke into the living room of their house. To do this, they installed three colonies of ants under water in their laboratory.
After a short time they observed something unheard of: the ants put their heads in the water and drank, drank and drank, as if they were thirsty. 15 minutes later, those first ants went to the opening of the bamboo to get rid of their liquid load. In other words, they urinated at the door of the house.
You will think that an ant cannot drink a lot of water and, consequently, it will not urinate too much either. And it is true: the drops evacuated by an ant contained on average an amount equivalent to 0.66 microliters. 0.8 mm promised. A barely visible amount to our eyes.
But something that ants do have is that they are many and can be easily organized. Up to 2,000 ants can live in a bamboo trunk, so that in the end the scientists were able to verify that their home had dried on the third day.
However, both drinking and urinating involves an enormous expenditure of energy. And many ants literally die of exhaustion.. Not to mention that urinating directly next to the door of each is not, shall we say, an effective elimination of the danger or help to contain the floods.
So how has this ant managed to survive through the centuries using a technique as crude as drinking and pissing on the doorstep? Well, thanks to its multiplication quota: it is their eagerness to reproduce that still keeps this somewhat ineffective flood-prevention strategy aliveinstead of learning once and for all how to build more efficient and elegant dikes or drainages.