Ants can either forage for food as individuals or recruit other members of their colonies to help search for or carry food back to their nests, say UCLA biologists. After studying a wide variety of ants, the biologists found that the strategies ants use to forage play a bigger role in how they build their nests than do innate, evolutionary “blueprints”. When building nests, ants strike a balance between transportation efficiency and architectural constraints. Researchers say that observation could help humans design more efficient transportation systems tailored to specific needs. For example, congestion on Southern California’s freeways might be improved if there were dedicated lanes or roads for trucks traveling to and from major logistics hubs like ports, warehouses and distribution centers.

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