Filmed in Portland at the 2012 Biomimicry Education Summit, let Sayuri Yamanaka and Linda Paisley of Biomimicry Texas explain the amazing survival strategies of everyone's favorite picnic crasher, the fire ant.
AskNature Nuggets | Episode 10
Thank you to Flickr user Maggie (Nile Red) for their Creative Commons licensed footage of the fire ant flotilla in action:
Linda: We're from Biomimicry Texas…
Sayuri: …and we’re going to talk la hormiga de fuego: fire ants.
Linda: The fire ant has a unique strategy for surviving flooding.
Sayuri (in Spanish): They can use their jaws, their arms, and parts of their bodies that have a sticky substance to join together and form a round and flat shape in order to float.
Linda: Its hydrophobic cuticle and hairs on its legs also trap air, allowing it to float for days.
Sayuri (in Spanish): And with this, they can protect their queen and their colony and can survive.
Linda: What can the fire ant teach us about rapid deployment in emergency response situations?
Sayuri (in Spanish): Or, how can we utilize the knowledge of the fire ants for our manufacturing processes?