Scientists have shown that ants behave like a neural network

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the Rockefeller University have shown that ants make the decision to evacuate the colony when the temperature rises dangerously, acting like a neural network.

The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The authors of the article created a special system to test the reaction of the ant colony, in which scientists could precisely control the temperature increase.

It turned out that the decision to evacuate or not depends on two factors: the size of the colony and temperature.

Animals use these parameters to maximize benefit while minimizing risk and effort, similar to how a neural network decides.

Colonies of 36 workers and 18 larvae clearly evacuated their nests when the temperature reached 34 degrees Celsius.

When the scientists tested their findings on colonies of 10 to 200 individuals, the temperature needed to make a decision to evacuate increased.

So, colonies of 200 individuals kept until the temperature rose above 36 degrees. This may be due to the fact that the evacuation of large colonies requires a lot of work.

Individual ants are unaware of the size of their colony, but can communicate with each other by passing on pheromones.

The more of them in the air, the larger the population size. The team of biologists plans to continue their research by testing their findings on more parameters, including the level of pheromones.


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