She continued, "Further experiments revealed that the brood are the most buoyant members of the society and that rafting does not decrease their survival ... this configuration benefits the group at minimal cost."
PHOTOS: Animals Rescuing Animals
Who knew that baby ants float? Well, we do now. It's no wonder that ants so often outsmart humans, foiling extermination attempts.
Ants are up there with cockroaches and other tough creatures that are true survivors. They aren't the only non-human organisms, though, to join forces for self-preservation.
Purcell and her colleagues share that Japanese honeybees "will surround large predatory hornets and form an ‘oven,' raising the interior temperature to kill the intruder."
Another example is demonstrated by leafcutter ants, which form defensive lines around vulnerable ants to block invaders.
As for the fate of the rafting ants, nearly all survived.
Photo: Ants build a raft. Credit: Jessica Purcell