Ant colonies behave like neural networks when making decisions

Temperatures are rising, and one colony of ants will soon have to make a collective decision. Each ant feels the rising heat beneath its feet but carries along as usual until, suddenly, the ants reverse course. The whole ...

How army ants' iconic mass raids evolved

Army ants form some of the largest insect societies on the planet. They are quite famous in popular culture, most notably from a terrifying scene in Indiana Jones. But they are also ecologically important. They live in very ...

Geoengineering: 'Plan B' for the planet

Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates towards centre stage.

Common insecticide may not harm bumble bees

Investigators have found no effect of an insecticide called thiamethoxam on bumble bees that forage on flowering winter oilseed rape. Using realistic field conditions, the researchers treated seeds of oilseed rape with the ...

Dam good research on invasive beavers in Patagonia

For three years, Duke student Alejandro Pietrek has bravely grappled with some unusual marauders of the forests and steppes of Patagonia: invasive beavers. A biology graduate student, Pietrek recently presented his dissertation ...

Honeybees show tipping points

Parasites, lack of food, cold snaps, pesticides, and poor management all can stress honeybee colonies, making it difficult to pin their collapse on a single source. However, in controlled field tests, honeybee colonies show ...

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