Compared to other insects, ants have developed more complex olfactory systems that allow them to communicate using different types of pheromones.
Have you ever noticed an ant in your house, only to find the entire colony gone a week later? When you remove one or more ants, the rest of the colony mysteriously disappears.
Cell was released on June 14 Article Ants emit certain warning pheromones that activate a specific part of the ant’s brain and change the behavior of the entire organism.
According to A statement “Humans are not the only people with complex communication systems and societies,” says lead author Taylor Hart of Rockefeller University, published on phys.org.
“Compared to other insects, ants have developed more complex olfactory systems that allow them to communicate using different types of pheromones that signify different things.”
And he knows Pheromone It is any internal chemical secreted in minute amounts by one organism to induce a specific reaction in another organism of the same species.
Pheromones are distributed among insects and vertebrates, and are also found in crustaceans, but are less well known among birds.
Chemicals can be excreted through specialized glands or combined with other substances, such as urine, and can be freely released into the environment or deposited in carefully selected locations.
Pheromones are also used as attractants during the breeding season by some fungi, slime molds and algae.
Like humans, ants have their own kind of communication center in their brains, and this center interprets warning pheromones or “danger signals” from other ants.
This part of the ant’s brain may be more advanced than that of some other insects, such as bees.
“There seems to be a sensory axis in the ant brain that contains all the alarm pheromones that trigger panic feeding,” says lead author Daniel Croner of Rockefeller University.
The researchers used an engineered protein called “GCaMP” to scan the brain activity of clonal raider ants exposed to danger signals. “GCaMP” works by attaching itself to calcium ions excited by brain activity, and the resulting fluorescent chemical composition can be seen with high-resolution microscopes.
Panic response to ensure survival
When conducting the scans, the researchers observed that only a small part of the ants’ brains lit up in response to danger signals, but the ants displayed immediate and complex behavioral patterns. These patterns are called the “panic response” because they include actions such as flight, leaving the nest, and moving the offspring away from the nest to a safe place.
Ant species of different sizes use different pheromones to deliver different messages.
“In the wild, we think clonal raider ants typically have colony sizes of a few dozen to hundreds of individuals, which is very small compared to ant colonies,” Hart says.
“Often these small colonies have panic responses that manifest in alarm behavior because their main goal is to escape and survive, and they can’t put too many individuals at risk,” he added.
Regardless of species, ants segregate themselves within the colony by class and role, and ants in different classes and roles have slightly different anatomy.
The researchers chose clonal raider ants because they are easier to control.
To ensure consistency and make it easier to observe widespread patterns, the researchers used ants of the same sex in the same caste and role (worker ants).
“We can begin to see how these emotional representations are similar or different among ants,” says Hart.
“We’re looking at the distribution of roles,” Kronauer says. “Why do genetically similar individuals perform different tasks in the colony? How does this division of labor work?”
“Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator.”