Ants are ‘better than humans’ when it comes to choosing a new home, according to researchers at Bristol University in the UK.
3 mm-long radio tags were attached to the backs of ants and then they were left to do their stuff. They were given a choice between two nests, one of which was superior to the other in its construction. Scientists noted the ants chose the superior nest even though it was nine times further away than the alternative.
It indicates social insects can collectively compromise between the speed and accuracy of decision-making, using mechanisms similar to those used by neurons in the primate brain.
The range of practical applications of the discovery is vast. Hi-tech takes a look.