Army Ants Build A Bridge

Army ants (Labidus spininodis) in Mindo, Ecuador (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

4 February 2023, WINGS in Ecuador: Day 7, birding in Mindo and the NW Andes

Antbirds — antshrikes, antwrens, antvireos, etc. — keep track of army ants who flush tasty insects as they march through the forest. Army ants do the work, the antbirds get an easy insect meal.

Seven years ago when the old Greenfield Bridge was missing over the Parkway East I learned that army ants can build bridges and they seem to be quick about it. It took two years to build the new Greenfield Bridge. The ants would have been faster (but unable to carry traffic).

Find out how ants build bridges. Check out the video at:

p.s. The Anderson Bridge that carries the Boulevard of the Allies into Schenley Park closed this week for at least four months because inspection revealed a “weak member” — i.e. unsafe to drive on! We need those army ants again.

(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the caption to see the original)

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