Scientists have discovered that ants have managed to avoid traps and predators by using their memories. Ants managed to get rid of it in the second time while falling into the pit, which scientists consciously dug.
Scientists have discovered that ants can learn to protect themselves from danger after a risky experience. These social insects were known to follow the pheromone traces to find their way back after leaving their nests. However, recent research has shown that ants have also changed their way to eliminate dangers such as hunters or traps they have encountered before by using their visual memory.
In an investigation by animal behavior specialist Antoine Wystrach and colleagues from the University of Toulouse in France, ants were found to be able to establish the link between visual signs and negative experiences. Ants can remember potentially dangerous routes.
In the second attempt, ants remembered:
In the experiment with two different species of desert ants called Melophorus bagoti from Australia and Cataglyphis fortis from Sahara, a pit trap was prepared by scientists for the return of ants to their nests. The only way out of this trap was a thin dip.
The ants, who encountered the trap in the first time, quickly moved towards their nests and fell into the trap. In the second attempt, it was observed that the ants changed their way by avoiding the pit. Some ants approaching the trap first stopped and checked their surroundings, then wandered around the pit and reached their nests safely.
Researchers have discovered that ants’ visual memory goes a few seconds before they fall into the pit. The ants that paired it with the fall, thus managed to avoid falling into the pit the second time.
Dr. Antoine Wystrach said that their next goal is to better understand the complexity of the nervous system of insects by applying these learning mechanisms.
Examining the areas where African Matabele ants fight with termites, experts have observed that ants try to treat each other after the attack is over. Ants returned to their nests after the attack ended, systematically lying on the back and trying to treat the injured area by licking it for 4 minutes.