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Ants are able to analyze unfamiliar objects

Scientists from around the world conducted a number of studies and found that ants of the genus Aphaenogaster are able to choose tools for transporting objects and fluids according to their qualities. For example, they chose unfamiliar items to transport liquids. The study is published in the journal “Animal Behaviour”.

The study involved Aphaenogaster subterranea and Aphaenogaster senilis. Scientists collected several colonies of each species in plastic boxes. Not far from the ant colonies a platform with a container filled with liquid (water; honey; honey, diluted with water) was installed. On a short distance potential tools for collecting and transporting food were placed. There were different kinds of tools (natural and artificial objects). Among them were leaf fragments, pine needles, grains of sand or mud, as well as scraps of sponge, PU foam, paper and polyethylene film. During the experiment, scientists observed what tools were used by ants for testing the properties of liquids and its transportation.

It was found that ants of the genus subterranea used for testing pine needles and mud, but they carried scraps of sponge to the ant nest, if it was necessary to transport honey; and used mud to transport honey with water. Ants senilis at first tested natural materials, which were familiar to them, but after several attempts they began to select pieces of paper and sponge and then used them to transport sweet liquid into their nest.

This experiment showed that ants are able to choose tools for transporting food depending on viscosity and other qualities of transported materials.

The same situation was in the experiment with bumblebees, which exemplifies the adaptation behavior. In this experiment, bumblebees learned to get their food using a string and then managed to teach other bumblebees. The experiment involved artificial conditions and step by step training. It turns out that bumblebees are capable to behave in a manner not typical to their behavior in the wild. This also means that it isn’t genetically programmed.

But what helps ants and bumblebees to analyze information, taking into account that their brain is so tiny?

Let’s take ants as an example at least. Do you know how organized their life and their infrastructure are? They set up new colonies where each member fulfills a strictly defined function: some ants gather food, others defend the colony, still others are occupied with ventilation or establish new shafts, and some others fight. In the colony, there are pilferers, parasites, hangers-on, and there are “slave-holders” as well. In other words, they have the same hierarchy, the same organization… A similar situation is on the level of galaxies, if we enlarge the scale. They snatch matter and planets out of one another, they “eat up” each other, they collide, they scatter. Well, humanity behaves just like this, too…

Anastasia Novykh “Ezoosmos”

In my opinion, there is a collective mind, with the help of which animals, insects, and people make their decisions. And on this occasion, I remembered a quote from the book by Anastasia Novykh “Birds and Stone”:

— Yes. There are individual minds, a collective spiritual mind, and there is a uniting animal mind of humanity which is managed, by the way…
— How? Like an ant colony or a herd of buffalos is managed during migration?
— Approximately, — Sensei answered, smiling. — The animal nature is the animal nature indeed. This uniting animal mind of humanity exists according to its certain laws. It has its own internal and external hierarchy. And people mostly live inside the skilled organization of this animal mind subordinating them to its system, imposing game rules and existence conditions upon them.

Today, there is a lot of information on these topics, and if desired, an inquiring mind can get to the truth. It all depends on our personal choice…

Good luck with your search!


Author: Sergey Savin

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