Home > Papers from 2010 > Olfactory mechanisms for place localisaton.

Olfactory mechanisms for place localisaton.

In general ants are very olfactory animals, although sometimes we forget this when we study the mechanisms used by individual foragers to navigate along routes and to goals.  Of course, if environmental odours can provide useful “landmark” or gradient  information, it will be adaptive for ants to incorporate this information into their spatial behaviour. In their work on the use of olfactory cues by desert ants, Steck et al are beginning to unveil the mechanisms by which olfaction might contribute to navigation. Here, they demonstrate that ants can pinpoint a location relative to an array of 4 different odours. The fact that ants need both antennae to do this leads to their pithy title.

Kathrin Steck, Markus Knaden and Bill S. Hansson (2010) Do desert ants smell the scenery in stereo? Animal Behaviour, 79, 939-945

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Categories: Papers from 2010
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