Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Wasps fly backwards to help them get home


Posted on Friday, 12 February, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments

Wasps possess intriguing navigational skills. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Richard Bartz
Sand wasps have been observed flying in reverse to help them create a map of their surroundings.
There's no denying that wasps are remarkably adept at navigating their way around, but after spending time away from their hive during the day how exactly do they find their way back ?

The secret in the case of the sand wasp, it turns out, is to go out on an orientation flight before leaving the area in an effort to build up a complete picture of the surrounding landscape.

What makes this even more incredible is the fact that the wasp does it while flying backwards.

"They look back at the nest from the view point of their future return," said study co-author Prof Jochen Zeil. "It's a bit like when you leave a hotel in an unfamiliar environment. To make sure you recognize it when you come back, you turn back as you are leaving it."
"It's a very smart way of obtaining all the information you need to get back."

By capturing the three-dimensional flight path of a wasp as well as the direction that it was facing during that time, the researchers were able to learn how the insects mapped their surroundings.

It turned out that the orientation flight involved flying in a peculiar reverse zig-zag pattern.

"In a way we were sitting in cockpit of this animal while it was learning how the scene looks like around the nest on departure," said Dr Zeil.

Source: ABC.net.au | Comments (6)


Tags: Wasp


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Not Your Huckleberry on 12 February, 2016, 16:46
I don't give a damn what wasps do or how they fly, just stay the hell away from me.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Silver Surfer on 12 February, 2016, 20:52
What an enlightened individual.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 12 February, 2016, 20:53
Great read... I sometimes wondered how they are able to find their "home" doing what they do to feed and such. Though the study is specific to the "sand wasp" I wonder if other wasps, bees, or flying insects with "nests" do the same. Not sure, maybe use different methods. I was, however, impressed with the correlation of humans "looking back at their hotel room as they are leaving" in order to establish some sort of basic visual return map.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bubblykiss on 12 February, 2016, 23:11
Sounds like me retracing my steps through sober to drunk, ass first into chaos.
Comment icon #5 Posted by AustinHinton on 12 February, 2016, 23:44
See where you have been before you even get there.
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 13 February, 2016, 17:04
There is much to be said with regards to hindsight ...


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Witness sheds light on fate of Utah monolith
12-2-2020
A photographer who had been visiting the mysterious monolith claims he witnessed it being taken away.
Arecibo observatory has now totally collapsed
12-2-2020
The iconic telescope, which had shut recently after sustaining earthquake damage, has now collapsed.
60ft moving Gundam robot unveiled in Japan
12-1-2020
Japan's Gundam Factory Yokohama complex has revealed its fully functional, life-size robot to the media.
Another monolith has turned up in Romania
12-1-2020
The mystery of the '2001' monoliths has deepened after another one has appeared half way across the world.
Stories & Experiences
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
 
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
 
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
 
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
 
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
 
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
 
 
 
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
 
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
 
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ