According to the all time film classic, Dumbo, elephants are scared silly by the mere presence of mice. Since an elephant is probably five thousand times the size of a mouse, the cartoon relationship between these two animals is supposed to be meant for laughs. But are elephants really afraid of mice? The answer is no, but it is true that elephants are afraid of ants.
It is perhaps even more surprising to learn that elephants are afraid of even smaller and less intimidating creatures than mice. When a group of roaming elephants approach a tree infested with ants they will alter their path to avoid the ants. This avoidance of tiny, yet numerous, ants is due to the tendency on the part of ants to climb up the snouts of elephants. Understandably, this is an annoying situation for the elephant. Some ants spend their lives protecting plants, and the ants do not like seeing their precious plants trampled on by enormous elephants. So the ants fend them off with threatening to crawl up the elephant’s trunk. Who says that the bigger animal always wins?
Do you think that there could be any alternate reason as to why some ants have been found to crawl into the inner trunk of elephants?