Ants’ Ability in Solving Simple Problems

Marie-Claire Cammaerts

Abstract


Aiming to know the extent of the ants’ cognitive abilities, we set Myrmica ruginodis workers in four problematic situations. We discovered that these ants could walk round a barrier, by foraging and navigating as usual, using known visual cues. They could walk preferentially on smooth substrates instead of rough ones, but did not memorize their choice. This behavior may be due to the easier deposit of pheromones on a smooth substrate. The ants could establish a single way when having only two narrow paths for going in and out of their nest. This was the consequence of the ants’ traffic and of the distinct pheromonal deposits while going in and out of the nest. The oldest ants needing sugar water could push a door for getting such water. They did so by having the audacity to go on walking, whatever the presence of a door. Such a door is not a tool sensu stricto. Future studies will examine if ants can lean new techniques, can use tools and/or can learn using tools.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijb.v9n3p26

Copyright (c) Marie-Claire Cammaerts

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