Tuesday, May 4, 2010

and they all go marching...

Every summer, I get calls from people who are puzzled to find a heap of dead Argentine ants in their freezer. The ants are attracted to something, presumably an odor, in the rubber lining of freezer doors. No ant finds the freezer and goes back to recruit the others; once an ant goes in the freezer, it is doomed. But since the ants lay trail wherever they go, the ants that are attracted to the freezer all lay a trail on their way to it, and this is reinforced by more curious but equally doomed ants. Since Argentine ants are enormously abundant in many parts of the world, this procedure must lead to food more often than to the untimely death of many ants.


Deborah Gordon, Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior

3 comments:

William said...

I am so glad you've read this book.

phonakins said...

wow. this relates to my current ant issues - they eat my toothbrushes!

dave said...

the financial system.