Thursday, April 06, 2006

"For cockroaches, it seems, cooperation comes naturally."

Cockroaches govern themselves in a very simple democracy where each insect has equal standing and group consultations precede decisions that affect the entire group, indicates a new study.

The research determined that cockroach decision-making follows a predictable pattern that could explain group dynamics of other insects and animals, such as ants, spiders, fish and even cows.

Halloy tested cockroach group behavior by placing the insects in a dish that contained three shelters. The test was to see how the cockroaches would divide themselves into the shelters.

After much "consultation," through antenna probing, touching and more, the cockroaches divided themselves up perfectly within the shelters. For example, if 50 insects were placed in a dish with three shelters, each with a capacity for 40 bugs, 25 roaches huddled together in the first shelter, 25 gathered in the second shelter, and the third was left vacant.

No comment.

Discovery Channel on line.
H/T Joe Katzman, Winds of Change

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