Surprising Results from Emergent Systems II

I can’t help but share this video with you. 

Yes, it is an ant colony. You might rather call this an ant city-state, though. This massive construction displaced 40 tons of soil during construction. A scaled comparison to a human contruction would put this colony on par with the Great Wall of China (according to the narrator of the TV documentary “Ants! Nature’s Secret Power” excerpted in the video below).

This city contains, among other things, a complex air conditioning system for fresh air circulation and to regulate both humidity and temperature. Scientists filled the chambers with cement and dug around it to study a neatly engineered system of chambers and highways for efficient transportation. 

Consider the size of a ant’s brain. Behavioral complexity is said to be related to the cube of head width, or 3/2 power of brain volume.  An ant’s brain is approximately 1/40,000th the size of a human brain at less than 1 milligram. 

December 18, 2008. Emergence.

One Comment

  1. alanogilvy replied:

    Here’s a link to the text from “Ant Fugue”, with prelude, from Hofstadter’s ‘Godel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid.’

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