Natures wonders: ant teams carry insects (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 22:45 (1671 days ago) @ David Turell

The team is guided by another ant that comes to direct traffic back to the ant hill:

"In experiments, researchers showed how a dozen or more ants working in unison to haul, say, a large insect can adjust their course based on intelligence provided by a single ant joining the effort.

"Realising somehow that the group is off-course or headed for trouble, the "scout" subtly signalled a needed change in direction by tugging at a different angle.

"Rather than resisting, the others fell into line.

"The individual ant has the idea of how to pass an obstacle but lacks the muscle power to move the load," explained Ofer Feinerman, the study's main architect and a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

"'The group is there to amplify the leader's strength so that she can actually implement her idea," he told AFP.

"'Just as surprising, the same ant that took the lead will, 10 to 20 seconds later, yield that role to another new arrival with more up-to-date information.

"'As far as we can tell, the scout is no different than the other ants," Feinerman said by email."

Comment:Ant scouts who bring new information is well known, and this shows how the cooperation works. The scout points out the proper direction. The ants cooperate automatically. It is obviously unknown how much 'thinking' a scout does.

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