Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ants Are Very Good At Maths

Ants, the tiny creatures we don't even think about much are believed to be able to solve ordinary arithmetic problems and communicate numbers to their colony mates, according to a new study in the journal Behaviour. We already know that birds like pigeons are very good at maths and chimps are average, but ants might be the best ones we know in the whole animal kingdom.
Biologists Zhanna Reznikova from Novosibirsk State University and Boris Ryabko from Siberian State University were studying the ants for sometime. They did an expoeriment in which they set up few mazes containing food at some spots. They observed that the ants communicated the food's position to other ants in distance and number of steps

They said that the ants can "perform simple arithmetic operations with small numbers. We suggest that applying ideas of information theory and using the natural communication systems of highly social animals can open new horizons in studying numerical cognition."

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