Home > Papers from 2015 > Ant navigation on a very large scale

Ant navigation on a very large scale

The salt pan dwelling Cataglyphis fortis is a lovely experimental animal for two reasons. Firstly, their navigation is excellent, as is needed for scavenging over large distances in a harsh environment. Secondly, with simple gps devices, one can monitor these huge routes in their entirety. Previous papers from Markus Knaden and colleagues have demonstrated this previously. With this addition we get an impressive account of the large scale Path Integration performance and how it interacts with the information provided by natural visual panoramas. By capturing and displacing ants that are 100 s of metres from their nest, Huber and Knaden are able to quantify PI accuracy, showing that the accuracy of distance estimates and search locations is better than might be expected from extrapolations of previous experimental data. They are also able to show that in natural conditions the directional information provided by PI and visual scenes is smoothly integrated, thus leading to intermediate trajectories, that tend towards the estimate provided by visual cues as the route proceeds.
Huber, R., & Knaden, M. (2015). Egocentric and geocentric navigation during extremely long foraging paths of desert ants. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 1-8.
Categories: Papers from 2015
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