I think I have watched a documentary many years ago, describing this mechanism for the ants at Sahara desert: they came out of the nest and whenever they were to change course they were performing a 360 degrees circle around themselves and this was supposed to help them orientate based on the position of the sun and the position of their nest. No matter how many times the ant changed direction, once it found the food it would go to the nest following a straight line!

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