Download e-book for kindle: Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior by Deborah M. Gordon

By Deborah M. Gordon

ISBN-10: 0691138796

ISBN-13: 9780691138794

How do ant colonies get something performed, whilst not anyone is dependable? An ant colony operates and not using a crucial keep an eye on or hierarchy, and no ant directs one other. as a substitute, ants make a decision what to do in accordance with the speed, rhythm, and trend of person encounters and interactions--resulting in a dynamic community that coordinates the capabilities of the colony. Ant Encounters offers a revealing and obtainable look at ant habit from this complicated structures perspective.

concentrating on the moment-to-moment habit of ant colonies, Deborah Gordon investigates the position of interplay networks in regulating colony habit and kinfolk between ant colonies. She exhibits how ant habit inside and among colonies arises from neighborhood interactions of people, and the way interplay networks strengthen as a colony grows older and bigger. The extra speedily ants react to their encounters, the extra sensitively the whole colony responds to altering stipulations. Gordon explores no matter if such reactive networks support 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 various and ubiquitous social insects.

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A third factor is the current demands of the colony and the environment. For example, when workers are removed, other workers change tasks; if many foragers are lost to a predator, inside workers might become foragers when they are younger. Fourth, some individuals are consistently more active, throughout their lives, than others, and these more active individuals are more likely to leave the nest. At any time, the average age of ants performing a given task will be the combined outcome of all of these forces.

Ants accomplish marvelous feats of engineering. 2 The fungus-growing ant Atta texana and the fire ant Solenopsis invicta make elaborate underground tunnels to take foragers to their destinations. 3 We know of many amazing things that ants do, and still, anyone who watches ants is in for surprises. Trails of leafcutter ants, collecting leaves to feed their fungus gardens, look like a fleet of tiny sailboats, the ants carrying pointed bits of cut leaves high above their heads. But the first time I saw a leaf-cutter ant in the wild, it was dragging a caterpillar back to the nest.

11 More recently, Charles Yackulic and others found that hitchhiking by tiny ants has other functions as well. 12 So the evolution of various sizes of workers of fungus-growing ants might depend less on their efficiency in cutting leaves, and more on the ability of a certain size of ant to deal with a certain size of parasite, or the benefits to the fungus, the ants’ food supply, of a thorough cleaning of the leaf fragments. Our judgment about what seems most efficient may not match up with the real action of evolution.

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Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior by Deborah M. Gordon


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