Ant mill

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An ant mill is a small group of army ants away from the other ants. They lose the pheromone track and begin to follow each other, making a spinning circle. The ants will die of exhaustion. People can make this happen easily.[1] This is a side effect of the self organizing structure of ant colonies.[2] Each ant only knows to follow the ant in front of it. This will work until something goes wrong and an ant mill forms. An ant mill was first seen by William Beebe who saw a mill 1,200 feet in circumference. It took each ant 2.5 hours to go around.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Delsuc, Frédéric (1 November 2003). "Army Ants Trapped by Their Evolutionary History". PLoS Biology. 1 (2). doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0000037. PMID 14624241 – via PubMed Central.
  2. "National Geographic Magazine". Magazine.
  3. Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowiecki