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Nest maximizes solar heat absorption: wood ants


Wood ant nest / Johan Spaedt.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

Wood ants maximize solar heat absorption by their nest via the optimum angle of orientation.

"The surface of the nest of wood ants (Formica rufa) has numerous holes which serve as entrances and ventilation holes; at night and in cold weather the ants plug the holes to keep heat in. The workers also keep the slope of the nest at the right angle to obtain maximum amount of solar heat. The ants bring extra warmth into their nests as live heaters by basking in the sun in large numbers and taking the heat energy collected in their bodies into the nest." (Pallasmaa 1995:35)
About the inspiring organism
Med_800pxformica_rufa_nest_on_rock Formica rufa
Formica rufa Linnaeus, 1761

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_NT IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Passive heating and cooling of buildings.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Construction

Pallasmaa, J. 1995. Animal architecture. Helsinki: Museum of Finnish Architecture. 126 p.
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