How to build a raft and save the Queen when you have a tiny brain

July 15, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

What if the waters are rising and you’ve got to save the Queen, but you and your buddies have no cell phones, you don’t have anything resembling human spoken language, and your brain is really tiny? How tiny? Less than 300,000 neurons (for comparison, a mouse’s brain is 50 times bigger–it has 16 million neurons).

So how do you save the Queen with your incredibly tiny brain? You work elegantly as a collective, like the ants you are. Check out this incredible footage.   I felt chills when I saw the workers helping their Amazonian Queen off the raft near the end.   Un-be-liev-able, except you can see it with your own eyes.  


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Category: nature

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Niklaus Prirsig says:

    There is a relatively new branch of computer science that seeks to emulate the collective behavior of swarming insects. The basic concept is known as swarm robotics.

    Applications of swarm robotics are already in use. The Cybiko, a combination of pda, text messenger and game console introduced almost a decade ago used swarm technology to form an ad-hoc network capable of linking up to 2000 of the units. Since they had a wireless range of about 500 feet, they could relay messages for several miles.

    One ambitious project involve the use of swarm-bots which can physically link together to form temporary complex structures to perform complex tasks.

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