Articles Tagged With: "ants"
What do killer bees, locusts, field mice, mayflies, starlings, cicadas, cuban land crabs, driver ants, redflies, locust birds, silver carp and honey bees all have in common? The "Wisdom of Crowds" or in other words the ability to Swarm in huge groups.
It is a natural human trait to believe that we (the species) are the inventors of all clever things. Not so. One of the humbling things that biomimicry teaches us very quickly is that many times Mother Nature has beaten us to it! For example, take one of our proudest achievements: elections and democracy....
Ants interact using a system known as pheromones, involving sending 'chemical messages' to their community through smell and taste. It is also one of the oldest and most sophisticated forms of group communication on the planet with many features today's mobile and virtual teams would die for!
Armed with a few students, a backhoe and a handful of markers, Deborah Gordon digs up ant colonies in the Arizona desert. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business and even multitask when they need to with no language, memory or visible leadership?
By studying swarming behaviour in ants, locusts and crickets there is much we can learn about robot communications, how cancer tumours spread and even how our neurons swarm to produce thoughts.
Much of the foundation of bioteaming is based on the organisation, communications and behavior of social insect societies. The BBC has a wonderful series Life in the Undergrowth narrated by David Attenborough with a whole programme dedicated to Supersocieties and Super-organisms.
Why do I always have to take the garbage out : new social network research may explain why some team tasks just never get done.
Dr R Meredith Belbin, regarded as the father of "team-role" theory and one of the worlds foremost experts on teams, predicts that our organizational teams will evolve into more biologically inspired forms.
How is it that even with our vastly superior intelligence nature's teams sometimes seem to work much better than ours - what do they know that we don't?
Ant communications are very different from the communications we typically experience in our organizational teams. In fact they are so different that to really understand them you have to try and find some way to experience them. Here is one way!