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. This has been reproduced in laboratories and the behaviour has also been produced in ant colony simulations.[1] This phenomenon is a side effect of the self-organizing structure of ant colonies. Each ant follows the ant in front of it, and this will work until something goes wrong and an ant mill forms.[2] An ant mill was first described by William Beebe in 1921 who observed a mill 1,200 feet (365 m) in circumference.[3] It took each ant 2.5 hours to make one revolution.[4] Similar phenomena have been noted in processionary caterpillars and fish.[5]
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