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Fermat's principle of least time predicts refraction of ant trails at substrate borders

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Oettler, Jan ; Schmid, Volker S. ; Zankl, Niko ; Rey, Olivier ; Dress, Andreas ; Heinze, Jürgen
License: Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0
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Date of publication of this fulltext: 06 Sep 2013 12:44


Fermat's principle of least time states that light rays passing through different media follow the fastest (and not the most direct) path between two points, leading to refraction at medium borders. Humans intuitively employ this rule, e.g., when a lifeguard has to infer the fastest way to traverse both beach and water to reach a swimmer in need. Here, we tested whether foraging ants also follow ...


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