By Deborah M. Gordon
How do ant colonies get something performed, whilst nobody is liable? An ant colony operates with out a imperative keep an eye on or hierarchy, and no ant directs one other. as an alternative, ants come to a decision what to do in line with the speed, rhythm, and development of person encounters and interactions--resulting in a dynamic community that coordinates the features of the colony. Ant Encounters offers a revealing and obtainable investigate ant habit from this complicated structures perspective.
targeting the moment-to-moment habit of ant colonies, Deborah Gordon investigates the function of interplay networks in regulating colony habit and relatives between ant colonies. She exhibits how ant habit inside of and among colonies arises from neighborhood interactions of people, and the way interplay networks increase as a colony grows older and bigger. The extra quickly ants react to their encounters, the extra sensitively the total colony responds to altering stipulations. Gordon explores even if such reactive networks aid a colony to outlive and reproduce, how average choice shapes colony networks, and the way those buildings examine to different analogous complicated platforms.
Ant Encounters sheds gentle at the organizational habit, ecology, and evolution of those assorted and ubiquitous social insects.
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Extra resources for Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior
But this conclusion begs many ecological questions. Maybe a group of ants of a single size in a laboratory colony cuts leaves differently from ants working in an intact colony, or one in the field. Maybe it is not important to the colony’s survival and reproduction how fast or how well the colony cuts leaves, or maybe a few slower ants are just as effective as one super leaf-cutter. Maybe size matters in some way that has nothing to do with leaf cutting. For example, tiny ants sometimes hitchhike, riding along on larger ones.
This meant that majors were less likely to meet minors and instead more likely to encounter other majors, and so they did not turn away, but instead stayed to help with the brood. Although Wilson explained this process as “between-caste aversion,” it could also be interpreted as an example of task allocation that depends on interaction rates. When ants interact by touching antennae, one ant perceives the cuticular hydrocarbons of another. Cuticular hydrocarbons are greasy fatty acids that are spread by grooming over 49 50 Chapter 3 the hard outer surface of the ant’s body.
I used ‘pattern,’ the most general term I could think of, because I didn’t yet know which feature of the pattern was used by the ants. If interaction rate was important, this might explain my most puzzling results of the previous few years: older, larger colonies are more stable than young, small ones (see chapter 4). The reviewers of my first papers on ant networks and encounter patterns were bitterly opposed to the idea that ants could use the pattern of contact itself, rather than any particular message conveyed during contact, as a source of information.