Showing posts with label waggle dance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waggle dance. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Understanding the Dance of Honey Bee

The unusual abilities of many animals present a challenge to the human imagination. But one of the most fascination animal abilities concerns the complex and ritualized dance that honey bee executes to inform other honey bees about where to find food.

In 1913, the Austrian zoologist Karl Von Frisch published a paper in which he explained how honey bees communicate- through dancing. In the process, they convey information to other honey bees about where they can find food. When a successful gatherer enters the hive, she performs a so called waggle dance to provide the other workers with detailed information on where they can find nectar.
 Now the language of the bees has been more or less decoded. Scientists are hoping to find out if this is instinctive behavior or whether it can be called intelligence. Are the animals able to detect incorrect messages, for instance?
To find this out, researchers trained a group of marked bees to fly to a boat in the middle of a lake, where they were offered some nectar. Under normal circumstances, nectar is never found in the middle of a lake. If bees could think, the information that there was food must be considered incorrect. Therefore, scientists looked very closely at how the animals interpreted the dance in this case. Would they ignore the implausible message or may be even punish the liars?
The experiment led to a surprising result: none of the workers tried collecting nectar when the source was located in the middle of the lake. If the boat with food was drawn closer to shore, more and more gatherers “believed” the dancing bee and went on their way.
Many animals are specialists, and demonstrate considerable skill in their particular area of life. There are many indications that animals allocate their skills to separate memory compartments, which they cannot consciously access. So, while some animals can solve complicated problems, they probably are not aware of what they are doing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Collective intelligence of Insects

There are countless species of Insects and new ones are named every year. The insect’s body is very adoptable and its wide distribution is largely due to social system which put the colon rather than the individual in the fore ground.
Some African termite species build their home up to seven meter high. Inside it would be like passing through huge fortress and in side is a network of walkways and chambers, the layout of which guarantees co operation with in the community. Termites build an efficient ventilation system too. This ventilation allows the exhaled carbon dioxide to escape and fresh air to enter. No individual is responsible for this colony action except the group it self.
Termites are blind since birth and lack of intelligence as a individual but as a collective community they are brilliant builders. Ants, Bees, Wasps are all also forms colonies and their brilliance fascinates the scientists. The researchers find many similarities to human society – including hierarchical structures, with queens, drones or king, workers and soldiers. Previously the scientists thought that the individuals are controlled by instinct – build in patterns of behaviors but in recent past only researchers found that the insects releases pheromones which when released influence of the behavior of the individual of the same species.
The termite mound starts to take shape when workers form little mud balls mix them with saliva then arrange them into small piles in random. Since the saliva is strong the termites make their mound increasingly larger. If two columns are close together the workers of the each tower attracted with their scent and they immediately bridge them. With out their chemical signals there won’t be any community life.

For example, in a bee hive the queen secretes a specific pheromone that renders the worker bees infertile by retarding the development of ovaries by liking the queen bee. The other bees absorb the chemical substance and spread it guaranteeing that queen will be the only one capable of reproducing.
Scientists explain how ants tell each other about food supplies if one finds foodstuff it secrets a pheromone from its abdomen which then marks the way to the ant hill. As soon as another ant cross this path it will react in a similar manner, then the trail will be come as a wider river of scent. Pheromones helps them to detect them of same group similarly the termite uses its feeler which are covered with smelling cells. Each individual colony has a distinctive smell which comes from specific carbohydrate molecules that form the cubicle. In 1920 the scientists found that honey bee uses a famous “waggle dance” to inform the source of food to their group.