Based on a recent research that scientists have conducted, ants use their smell sense to distinguish friends from enemies. According to researchers, ants have the most sensitive sniffing apparatus enabling them to sense pheromones and to differentiate between the various members of their colonies.
Ants never cease to amaze us with their supernatural abilities. The most recent research illustrates that this species has one of the most developed olfactory species in the entire fauna, their antennas being highly sensitive smell receptors.
Researchers at the University of California have subjected a group of ants to a series of tests using electrodes to determine their ability to sense and identify certain smells. The electrodes allowed researchers to understand whether ants perceive hydrocarbons and whether they can recognize their odor.
The method that researchers have used for the current study is called electrophysiology. It presupposes the training of ants to associate hydrocarbons to sugared water and then, registering their brain responses to the odors they perceive. Results have shown that ants can quickly identify various amounts of hydrocarbons, even those with low volatility which enable them to adopt a proper behavior for people in their close proximity.
Anandasankar Ray, one of the members of the study group, has inferred, based on the recent discoveries that ants use their smell to make the distinction between various members of their community. Pheromones are most likely associated to their Queen. Unknown odors, on the other hand, have the ability to make ants more attentive as they may signal the presence of intruders or even enemies in their colony.
This species has always amazed scientists due to their ability to carry very large amounts of food, in spite of their small size, as well as for their praise-worthy organization. However, scientists think many more interesting facts could be discovered about ants by taking a closer look at their olfactory sense.
Image source: www.techtimes.com