YOU have heard of a flea circus. Now meet Liverpool's tightrope-walking ants. These bugs, which live at World Museum Liverpool, get their breakfast by gingerly crawling along a piece of string.
In fact, the leafcutter ants are so sure-footed, not one has fallen off.
The ants live in a box in the museum's Bug House. Another box full of leaves is placed next to their home - but the only way they can get to the food is via rope.
Joanna Rowlands, from the museum, said: "We opened the museum in April, and it is a refurbishment of the old Liverpool Museum.
"That was when we brought the ants in. We had been hoping they would walk across the rope to get their leaves, but since April they've just been sitting in the box. Apparently, they have to adapt and grow in their new environment.
"They have only just started using the rope now, and it's amazing to watch. They dip into the box and take a leaf back with them over the rope."
Leafcutter ants are of particular interest because they are the only species on the planet, apart from humans, to cultivate their own food. The ants, usually found in the rainforests and other tropical areas of America, grow a special fungus in their nests.
They get their name because they cut pieces of leaves which they harvest in the fungus gardens. The fungus is then used for food.
The £35m refurbishment of the 150-year-old Liverpool Museum doubled its size in April.
It experienced a record-breaking opening weekend, with 24,000 visitors flocking to see the new attractions. It compared with 3,500 in the same weekend in 2004.
The figures were the highest recorded since National Museums Liverpool was formed in 1986.
World Museum was officially opened by National Museums Liverpool chairman Loyd Grossman, and was the first time the building, on William Brown Street, was fully reopened since in was bombed in the Second World War. A Canadian totem pole which survived the blitz now stands in the main entrance hall.
As well as hosting the bug house, which features scorpions and tarantulas, the five-storey museum includes an aquarium and a floor dedicated to world cultures.
The refurbishment scheme was made with a £32m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the largest awarded to a museum project.
The museum is open every day between 10am and 5pm. Admission is free. Call 0151 478 4393.