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Floating Rafts of Fire Ants Have Been Sighted in the Carolina Floods

This is why the ant is synonymous with teamwork.

by Rachel Pick
Oct 7 2015, 4:33pm

The recent flooding in North and South Carolina has caused a surreal biological phenomenon: floating rafts of fire ants.

If a moving island of ants seems like a sign of the apocalypse, never fear. FOX News' Carolina outpost interviewed a USC biology professor who assures us it's the ants' standard response to flooding. Since fire ants come from South America, they have evolutionary adaptations to heavy rainfall—which is a common occurrence if you hang out near the Amazon basin.

"When the waters would flood along the rivers there, they'd put their queen on top of basically a floating raft of ants," said professor David Ferris. "And then they would basically raft downstream, and when they hit dry land they'd form a new mound."

These rafts can apparently remain floating for weeks at a time, and tiny hairs on the ants' bodies trap enough air to keep the lowermost ants from being pushed completely underwater. This way the entire colony can relocate and survive extreme weather.

See what we can achieve when we all work together?

Check out the full video at FOX Carolina.

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