Science!: Ants and Monkeys

Science!: Ants and Monkeys

Inside: Monkeys master fire and the cleaver. Next up: texting.

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This week's Science should be subtitled "Evolution is awesomesauce"

Things like that plant just baffle me. If spines or sticky sap works for other plants, how did this particular plant evolve such a complex system?

Raine and his colleagues believe that the repellents mimic pheromones that the ants naturally produce. When the scent was placed into a syringe and puffed over a group of ants, they became agitated and aggressive.

When the people in department stores puff scents over me I get agitated and aggressive too. Maybe an aversion to perfume samples is inherent in all creatures.

Also we need to start preparing for the chimp uprising in addition to zombies, robots and alien invasion.

Sweet, maybe M. Night Shamayalanamanomon was right and the trees might kill us one day...

I want to make friends with a group of Chimps:D

grimsprice:
Sweet, maybe M. Night Shamayalanamanomon was right and the trees might kill us one day...

What a twist!

Plants and chimps are evolving and getting smarter all the time, humans haven't had an evoloutionary step in 20,000 years. We are so boned.

The "future-minded" bit was a load of crap. Wanting $35 RIGHT NOW could be a symptom of short sightedness, or it could actually mean the person needs $35 RIGHT NOW. Surprise surprise, it's this group of people who have access to less healthy food and lower quality healthcare. They are correlated, not causal.

I would say nature never ceases to surprise, but the chimp things aren't nature, they're technology.

llafnwod:
The "future-minded" bit was a load of crap. Wanting $35 RIGHT NOW could be a symptom of short sightedness, or it could actually mean the person needs $35 RIGHT NOW.

I can think of no situation in which getting more money later is not the best option, unless you own $35 to the mafia. Even if you have no money whatsoever, it means you can probably get by with no money whatsoever, so it's worth it to wait.

Once chimps aquire the ability to text, I will be forced to exterminate them. I will not allow that plague to spread.

grimsprice:
Sweet, maybe M. Night Shamayalanamanomon was right and the trees might kill us one day...

Or maybe they already are ! =O

The Random One:

llafnwod:
The "future-minded" bit was a load of crap. Wanting $35 RIGHT NOW could be a symptom of short sightedness, or it could actually mean the person needs $35 RIGHT NOW.

I can think of no situation in which getting more money later is not the best option, unless you own $35 to the mafia. Even if you have no money whatsoever, it means you can probably get by with no money whatsoever, so it's worth it to wait.

That depends. One may want that $35 now for future buying while if you want the $45 in a few weeks, you may already have spent $65 for other stuff. So in that few weeks, you'd just get -$20.

Chimps using tools? Hmm... I wonder what they'd do with guns now.

And nature is automatically awesome. No denying it.

The Random One:
I would say nature never ceases to surprise, but the chimp things aren't nature, they're technology.

llafnwod:
The "future-minded" bit was a load of crap. Wanting $35 RIGHT NOW could be a symptom of short sightedness, or it could actually mean the person needs $35 RIGHT NOW.

I can think of no situation in which getting more money later is not the best option, unless you own $35 to the mafia. Even if you have no money whatsoever, it means you can probably get by with no money whatsoever, so it's worth it to wait.

What if I invested the $35 so that by the time the few weeks were over, I had made well over $45?

Also the Chimp thing is really cool. Maybe they'll even evolve to look like us eventually...

Chimps are an extremely good candidate for uplift.

I love these articles. Who wouldn't want a texting chimp? Well, aside from the dude who called it a plague.

The article about the evolution of the plant and ant mix was also intriguing and I'd have to second the question of "how did that plant evolve its stuff anyhow?"

Kind of off topic but reminds me somewhat of the main thought I had during the film Avatar... or even Aliens (speaking of Ridley Scott for that matter). How the hell does something like that evolve? I can understand a network of trees evolving as such, but I cannot fathom how an entire planet could evolve with a pseudo-matrix hook up. But, I suppose that's why they call it science fiction, yes?

Anyhow, cool stuff.

All this chimp news reminds me of an article I read a while back about chimps being taught "tradition".

Step 1: Put a bunch of chimps in a big cage with a ladder. At the top of the ladder there are some bananas.

Step 2: Whenever a chimp goes up the ladder to get a banana, hose the rest of them down with freezing water. After a few goes, any chimp that tries will get beaten by the others.

Step 3: Take out a chimp and put in a new chimp. The new chimp will try to get the food and be beaten by the others to avoid getting hosed. The new chimp will learn not to climb the ladder and to beat up any chimp that does try to climb it.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until none of the original group remains. At this point you have a group that enforces a pattern of behaviour, but has no idea why.

TRADITION!

But, my dear, if you had anti-ant spray, then, if it's the acacia model, you will attract bees! Oh noes!

In all seriousness, it's like watching the groundwork for civilization. Pages one and two of the 5000 page 'Road to Civilization' (or at least civ as we know it), mastery of fire and the use of tools. Throw in some basic communication, and we're well on the way to watching chimps become the second dominant species on this planet.

Jandau:
All this chimp news reminds me of an article I read a while back about chimps being taught "tradition".

Step 1: Put a bunch of chimps in a big cage with a ladder. At the top of the ladder there are some bananas.

Step 2: Whenever a chimp goes up the ladder to get a banana, hose the rest of them down with freezing water. After a few goes, any chimp that tries will get beaten by the others.

Step 3: Take out a chimp and put in a new chimp. The new chimp will try to get the food and be beaten by the others to avoid getting hosed. The new chimp will learn not to climb the ladder and to beat up any chimp that does try to climb it.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until none of the original group remains. At this point you have a group that enforces a pattern of behaviour, but has no idea why.

TRADITION!

Does that work with any other animal? That's an awesome idea, and I'd love to try it.
OT: Now we get chimps to reenact Braveheart.

JimmyBassatti:

Jandau:
All this chimp news reminds me of an article I read a while back about chimps being taught "tradition".

Step 1: Put a bunch of chimps in a big cage with a ladder. At the top of the ladder there are some bananas.

Step 2: Whenever a chimp goes up the ladder to get a banana, hose the rest of them down with freezing water. After a few goes, any chimp that tries will get beaten by the others.

Step 3: Take out a chimp and put in a new chimp. The new chimp will try to get the food and be beaten by the others to avoid getting hosed. The new chimp will learn not to climb the ladder and to beat up any chimp that does try to climb it.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until none of the original group remains. At this point you have a group that enforces a pattern of behaviour, but has no idea why.

TRADITION!

Does that work with any other animal? That's an awesome idea, and I'd love to try it.

No idea, the experiment was done on chimps only. The thing is, the group first needs to make the connection between the negative stimulus and the actions of one of their members, and then reason that by preventing certain behaviour in others they avoid the said negative stimulus.

Most mammals, birds and reptiles can be conditioned, especially the larger ones. However, basic conditioning means drawing a connection between a stimulus and personal behaviour. It takes a higher intelligence level to draw the same link between a stimulus and the behaviour of another. You might try this thing with, say, dogs, only to have one of them conclude that he got hosed down because he was licking his balls at the time.

Furthermore, the experiment requires the group to take the whole thing to the next level and work to alter the behaviour of ANOTHER individual. Basic conditioning has the subject alter his own behaviour in obvious ways that have a direct effect. This experiment in no way implies that they should beat up the one getting the bananas, they have to come to that conclusion themselves.

It is possible that, say, cats or dogs are smart enough and sufficiently group-minded with developed internal comunications, but I'm not 100% sure. Chimps are pretty damn smart, so they were the logical choice...

I do enjoy this column, the ant's mind control is not quite that though, as an ant colony speaks to other members by releasing scent. It's how they alert members to food, find the nest again and learn when it's time to fight for the queen. I'm thinking that the tree isn't eaxactly using mind control, more tricking them with their own language.

Here in Brazil we have the umbaúba trees that also houses a specific kind of ant. Maybe these trees also have the "acacia technology".

 

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