Google Earth reveals 'Las Vegas of ants'
Google Earth has enabled a researcher to make a remarkable observation about ants.
Italian scientist Amelia Carolina Sparavigna has recently released a paper online which argues that a section of Arizona landscape that appears dotted from overhead is likely what she calls, "the Las Vegas of ants."
Areas around the Grand Canyon are known for their large populations of red harvester ants.
In the study, Sparavigna points out that these insects can create nests that are so large—according to one local source, as tall as six feet—that they can be viewed by high-resolution satellite imagery.
And the dotted pattern which appears to be vegetation, she claims, is due to the fact that nests are often built up around each other.
Despite the assertion, she admits that "an on-site investigation is necessary to be sure of it."
LiveScience also notes that the paper has not yet been vetted by her peers.