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Ant mill

ant mill, ant mill video
An ant mill is an observed phenomenon in which a group of army ants, which are blind, are separated from the main foraging party, lose the pheromone track and begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle The ants will eventually die of exhaustion It has been reproduced in laboratories and has been produced in ant colony simulations The phenomenon is a side effect of the self-organizing structure of ant colonies Each ant follows the ant in front of it, which works until something goes wrong, and an ant mill forms An ant mill was first described by William Beebe in 1921 who observed a mill 1200 ft ~370 m in circumference It took each ant 25 hours to make one revolution Similar phenomena have been noted in processionary caterpillars and fish

See also

  • Information cascade
  • Feedback loop
  • Stigmergy
  • Woozle effect


  1. ^ Delsuc F 2003 "Army Ants Trapped by Their Evolutionary History" PLoS Biology 1 2: e37 doi:101371/journalpbio0000037 PMC 261877 PMID 14624241 
  2. ^ Couzin ID & NR Franks 2003 "Self-organized lane formation and optimized traffic flow in army ants" Proceedings of the Royal Society B 270 1511: 139–146 doi:101098/rspb20022210 PMC 1691225 PMID 12590751 
  3. ^ William Beebe, Edge of the Jungle New York, New York: Henry Holt and Co, 1921, pp 291-294
  4. ^ Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowiecki
  5. ^ Schneirla TC 1944 "A unique case of circular milling in ants, considered in relation to trail following and the general problem of orientation" American Museum Novitates 1253: 1–26 hdl:2246/3733 

External links

  • Ant mill videos:
    • https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=nGlzoT0sLaM
    • https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=jtrWlRNXmNw
    • https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=Gu7mzTPHeJI
    • https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=mA37cb10WMU
  • A software simulation of an ant mill Russian

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Ant mill Information about

Ant mill

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