Jul 24, 2017 03:01 PM EDT
A researcher from Arizona State University has explored how ant colonies prosper and expand. The myrmecologist or entomologists specialize in ants has taken more than a year to analyze how one ant colony can perform better than the other.
The lead researcher is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Life Sciences at the Arizona State University, Christina Kwapich. She took one and a half year to study ant colonies in the Arizona desert and counting around 300,000 individual ants.
Her study has found the compelling factor that makes ant colonies prosper, its efficiency. In a painstaking effort, she measured the number of worker ants that work to forage food and how the colony dealt with worker's loss with an optimum efficiency.
“We went out and measured how many foragers, or ants that came out to collect food, died in a single year," Kwapich said regarding her observation on ant colonies. “We did that because big colonies produce more new queens and males than small colonies."
She found that ant colonies highly depend on the number of workers ant they have. Ant colonies that possess the highest number of workers will definitely have the largest territories. The colonies also work better than those with a smaller number of workers.
There are so many things ants have been teaching human being from health care, defense system, transportation and creating the empires. The research from Kwapich is more interesting because it shows how ant colonies can be successful by being efficient in producing the workers.
What makes it more impressive is all the colonies were examined had only one queen. Following further observation, Kwapich found that the number of fathers who mated the queen was more important. It is because the colony with fewer fathers have better discipline in the colony with more fathers. It seems that ant with fewer fathers allow the distribution of worker ants to be done evenly.
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