MAR 12, 2019 7:38 PM PDT

Using Mutant Ants to Study Social Behavior

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

This video by Science outlines the work of Daniel Kronauer, the Stanley S. And Sydney R. Shuman Associate Professor at Rockefeller University. He studies behavior and social evolution in the context of complex societies, and to do so, uses clonal ant raiders as a research model. Ants may exhibit simple behaviors on their own, but they also “partition tasks” in their colonies, which gives rise to more complex action.

Clonal raider ants are asexual reproducers, and it’s easy to make genetic manipulations in these insects. You can check out the social behavior of these insects in the video, and easily see how genetic manipulation alters their behavior. Genetic tools also allow the researchers to observe neurological activity in the ants.

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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