In this video, we found a dead baby bird on the doorstep of a family house in Tuscany, Italy. It was a mystery how it got there, as there wasn’t a nest overhead. We could sacramentally bury it and feed it to the worms out of sight, or gently slide it onto a rock and put a camera on it for the whole internets to see.
Ants work like a neural network, guided by pheromones (molecules that other ants can detect). This way they can communicate as we do, just with fewer words. Ants have about 21, like ‘food this way’, ‘enemy’, ‘found nothing’. By sensing what the other ants do, complex decision-making arises, leading to swarm intelligence.
Scientists like Deborah Gording have compared ant colonies to the inner workings of the brain: “A colony is analogous to a brain where there are lots of neurons, each of which can only do something very simple, but together the whole brain can think.” Engineers are now studying if we can apply this social interaction to artificial life forms – like nano-robots.
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