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The army ants of Africa

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Civilization is typically characterized by intellectual, cultural, and material development. Do organisms other than humans have the ability to exist in a social structure? Despite the small brain capacity of an individual ant, the collective of a colony has produced a remarkable society complete with division of labor, communication, and the ability to solve problems.

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Renowned entomologist and sociobiologist E.O. Wilson says that ants live in human-like civilizations.
Learn about the layout and structure of an ant colony.
Take a look at the relative sizes of the different members in an ant colony.
How is social harmony within an ant colony ensured?
Ants change jobs as they get older!
Read how genes affect the social status of an ant.
And, finally, are there lessons that we humans can learn and from the ants?
An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
An individual ant, even though it has a brain about a millionth of a size of a human being's, can learn a maze; the kind we use is a simple rat maze in a laboratory. They can learn it about one-half as fast as a rat.
E. O. Wilson, American biologist and naturalist
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.
E. O. Wilson
But once the ants and termites jumped the high barrier that prevents the vast variety of evolving animal groups from becoming fully social, they dominated the world.
E. O. Wilson
Ants are good citizens, they place group interests first.
Clarence Day, American author and humorist
The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.
Clarence Day
Culture is how biology responds and makes its living conditions better.
C.J. Cherryh, author


Avatar for Josephine Skwish
Josephine Skwish
Lesson Creator
East Brunswick, NJ, United States
What models of ant social behavior or society can we emulate?
08/27/2013 • 
 2 Responses
 / 2 Updates

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