Ant Cooperation

Description:  Ants show one of the highest forms of social (or group) interactions, known as eusociality. In the following two videos ants work together to carry a large food item and create a bridge made of ants. The individual goals of ants are less important than the overall goals of the colony. Bees, wasps, termites and even some mammals (like the the naked mole-rat) show a similar behavior.

Web Resource: Eusociality - Wikipedia


Can Prairie Dogs Talk?

Description: Biology Professor Con Slobdochikoff and his team have shown that prairie dogs have a complex language for communicating danger from predators. Dogs, badgers, coyotes, and humans all have distinctive calls to alert the other members of the colony. Dr. Slobdochikoff has even shown that these warning calls can have descriptors (e.g. a large human with a green shirt is approaching). This phenomenon can be used to show the advantages of group living as well as information sensation, processing, and behavior / memory formation.

Web Resource:  Can Prairie Dogs Talk? - The New York Times

Priaire Dog.jpg

Dolphins and Humans Fishing Together

Description:  Bottlenose dolphins in Laguna, Brazil have learned to fish with humans. The dolphins drive shoals of mullet towards the human fisherman and then give a signal. The fisherman throw their nets which catch the fish and drive some of them back into the mouths of waiting dolphins. This mutualistic behavior benefits both the humans and the dolphins.

Web Resource: New Scientist Article