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Ants carried to the International Space Station

A study of how ants collectively search a new area has been carried out on the International Space Station.

Despite tumbling in the air for up to eight seconds at a time, the ants still searched as a team and showed an impressive knack for regaining their footing in zero-gravity.

Astronauts from Nasa oversaw the experiments, recording footage and sending the data back to researchers at Stanford University.

Prof Deborah Gordon told the BBC's Science in Action that due to complications scheduling the launch in January 2014, the ants went between Virginia and their home in Colorado several times before blasting off.

"I think by the time they actually got on the rocket they were probably relieved," she said.

The work is published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Footage courtesy of Deborah Gordon, Stanford University.

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