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Not bad science

How is Past Experience Biasing Our Decision-Making? Insights from Rock Ants

The rock ant Temnothorax rugatulus

Think about all the decisions you’ve made today. Even if you’re reading this in the morning, you’ve probably already made hundreds or even thousands of decisions, without even thinking consciously about most of them. We like to think of ourselves as being in control of our own decisions, and making rational, well-informed choices. However, more [...]

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Not bad science

Lost ants backtrack their steps

Ants would leave their nest to retrieve bits of cookie

Think about where you’ve been today, and how you found your way there. As humans, we use different navigational techniques at different times. You can probably think of some times that that you’ve relied more on heading in a particular direction, knowing roughly where a place is that you’re trying to get to (like ‘north’ [...]

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Not bad science

How Do Ants Coordinate Moving Huge Objects?


As a child I used to spend hours watching groups of ants move large objects and wonder how they managed to coordinate themselves. If I had to move some furniture with some friends, I’m sure we’d be talking the whole time about which way we were going and how fast, but as far as I [...]

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Not bad science

Ant Farmers – How do they do it?

I used to work in Edinburgh’s Butterfly and Insect World. While I was there, my favourite animal was not the chameleon, which changed colour when it was angry. Nor was it the royal pythons that loved human body heat, and would sometimes squeeze unnervingly tight. No, my favourite exhibit was the leafcutter ant. We had [...]

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The Biology of the Translucent Jewel Caterpillar, the Nudibranch of the Forest

Acraga coa larva

Yesterday, stunning photos of a semi-translucent, gelatinous caterpillar spread quickly across the Internet—probably setting a new speed record for larvae of all kinds. Scuba instructor and amateur wildlife photographer Gerardo Aizpuru spotted the creature in early April on a mangrove tree leaf near Cancun, Mexico. He submitted his pictures to Project Noah, a user-created database [...]

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We’re All Minorities Compared To These Manhattan Residents


Everyone would agree that a million is a lot and a billion is even more, but these types of numbers are hard to intuitively understand. So while you may nod and say, “wow” approvingly when told that there are more than a billion ants living in Manhattan, I bet you have a slightly more visceral [...]

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