Ants continue to amaze scientists with their ability to navigate. Often, when delivering food to the nest, they have to move backwards, but they do not go astray.
Earlier, an international team of scientists has already established that many insects, moving backwards while carrying a load, are able to navigate by the sun and use visual memory.
With regard to ants, it was believed that they have both of these reflexes, however, orientation to the sun and memory of the environment are used independently of each other. However, in the course of a new study by scientists from the University of Edinburgh, it was found that the "backwalking" algorithm is much more complicated.
It turned out that ants, moving backwards, from time to time look back at their surroundings, compare it with the previously memorized and estimate their own position relative to the Sun. The study also proved that ants are able to understand the spatial relationships of the outside world, not only in relation to themselves.
The research results may help in the future in the development of algorithms for the movement of robots of a new generation.