Ant behavior is extremely fascinating. Humanity could learn a great deal from the way these tiny creatures communicate, travel and manipulate their environment. Researchers from the University of York are fitting one thousand northern hairy wood ants with micro radio receivers.
This three year project will take place in the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire, an area that contains more than one thousand nests and around 50 million worker ants.
Animal tagging is not a new phenomena. However, this is micro tagging. A tedious prospect considering it will be accomplished by hand, one ant at a time!
Samuel Ellis, the University of York biologist and researcher for this project said:
“This research is about trying to find out how the ants communicate and commute between the vast network of nests and how they travel in this environment.
“The radio receivers act like a barcode to mark out each individual ant. A single ant is not particularly clever but is part of an elaborate system that is clearly performing very effectively at Longshaw.
“The way the ants use this network has important implications for how they interact with their environment. And the way information is passed through the network may even have implications for our information and telecommunications networks.”
We need more of this type of biomimetic research and implementation. This research could help humanity develop new strategies of moving information around in more holistic ways or could lead us closer to a telepathic solution to communication. What will humanity be like if we achieve telepathy? Will we cooperate as well as these ants? The most important question is...who will be our queen?
Originally posted on : http://www.seriouswonder.com/biomimetics-tracking-ant-behavior-with-tiny...
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