Ants seem a very tiny creation but they are quite intelligent and have brains even though we think do ants have brains. The ant brain has 250,000 neurons.
It is very small as compared to the human brain which has 100 billion brain cells. Although the brain size is very small in species of ant as compared to humans still scientists believe that the ant brain is the largest among all insect’s brains.
Ants are so intelligent that they display a lot of intelligent behaivours for example, communication, being alerted of enemies, and fighting them. Moreover, they use complex navigation whenever traveling for long distance.
How Intelligent Are Ants?
Although ants are considered the smallest insects, they are intelligent among all. Generally, bees have the ability to observe, learn, and demonstrate the memory needed to problem solve.
They can negate the highly divergent flower field. Although bees are classified as intelligent creations ants are ranked above because studies show that they can use some tools which is a common way to access intelligence.
Ants Have Amazing Intelligence
In order to understand the intelligent behaviors or learning ability power of the ants, an experiment was conducted in which two dilute honey solutions were placed along with the pure honey.
Some items that they can find in the field were placed such as grains of soil, pine needles, and twigs.
Also, some of the artificial items were placed near such as tissue paper or sponge. Now ants were left to perform activities. It was observed that ants first used the grains of soil and slacked soaked them into the soil.
And then they used the sponge for absorption and consumed pure honey. They also converted large sponge pieces into small ones so that it becomes easy to carry.
Others also tested many fields or artificial items for carrying pure honey. This experimentation shows that how they can have reasoning to perform best at the time.
Despite having field items that they mostly find when they wonder, they used the artificial items because it was more useful.
Hive mind term comes from highly intelligent creatures, and. A theory called as Hive mind theory says that ants have collective understanding rather than individual understanding.
They work best in a group and process things collectively as compared to individuals which reduces productivity.
What Is A Hive Mind?
The term hive mind refers to the collective intelligence that emerges in a particular species such as honey bees or ants forming larger brains.
The abilities in insects, individually can’t appear as bright as they are in the colony of ants. There is a science fiction saying that the higher intelligent organisms have hive mind organization.
One of the examples is Borg from Star Trek. It assimilated intelligent individuals such as humans in a collective way but in doing so the individuality of the person is ignored.
But Star Terk says that it is not right to apply the concept of the hive mind in humans.
It happens when two or groups of people reach the same conclusion because of the same circumstances in brain regions of species of fly or female worker ants.
It also shows they individual are unable to take decision individually but the productivity increase with group work. Individually people do not have free will or identity.
It is a real-life superorganism such as a beehive or an ant colony. It is usually viewed in a negative light, especially in earlier works, though some newer works portray it as neutral or positive.
It is conceived in speculative fiction that hive minds often refer to the complete loss or lack of individuality, identity, and personhood.
The individuals who are forming the hive minds may specialize in different functions, similar to the social insect.
Do Ants Have A Hive Mind?
Due to the remarkable intelligence of the ants, it is considered that they have hive mind capabilities. In fact, there is evidence that the individual and is very intelligent, and the intelligence increase when they are in the form of a colony.
The navigation ability of the ant is just mesmerizing. They have to count the steps and directions to go to a particular destination and then return back to the hive safely.
They can also sense the light and remember the view. For this purpose and experimentation was conducted in which ants were kept away from their nest and trained to use vibrational landmarks.
They can use this highly new landmark for finding their nest which shows that they are learning ability.
In another experiment, aunts were placed away from the nest and they were able to find their destination just by the visual memory of the area.
For this activity they did not measure the steps rather they used visual memory. Visual sceneries also saved them from the trouble of counting steps.
So they found a nest rapidly at that time as compared to counting steps.
They are quite intelligent in decision-making. For example, they have a division of labor, quorums, positive feedback, and communication to make a decision. Another important activity is to respond to the thread by behavioral repertoire. If there is a signal of the low threat then they drag the enemy and if there is news of a big threat then they bite and sting intruders.
Are Ants The Most Intelligent Insects?
Is it possible for an ant to be an intellectual? For a human being, it seems impossible to accept because ants are such tiny creations having minute size brain. How it is possible that they have intelligence?
Human is the dominant creation and can use intelligence to build houses, discover things, etc. But if you ponder on ants we come to know that ants use many tools of intelligence.
We do not encounter intelligence. For example, if an alien on Mars built a house, make cities, socialized, etc then obviously we humans will encounter his service. But in the case of ants, we never appreciate it.
Ants Have Societies
Do you know that ant built their own cities? The ant hills are their cities. These hills and complex ventilation system in which it removes carbon dioxide from Chambers and brings fresh air in it.
Also there is the disposal of the waste in a specific chamber to keep the environment clean. They also have a complex transportation system in the hills.
There is an incredible work and art in those hills. In fact, if we would be the size of the ants then we could easily imagine that the hills of the ants are three miles underground. The colony size of ants is huge.
It is bewildering to know that ants also do farming and domesticate animals. It is the only way to feed a colony size that is so large.
Ants Store Large Amounts Of Food
There are some species of ants that collect leaves and take them in the special Chambers.
Here, they grow fungus on the decomposed or dead leaves. After growing, ants feed it.
The growth of fungus requires complete planning. For example, there should be a right collection of leaves and then taken to the chamber.
Also, there should be the presence of spores on dead leaves so that fungus can grow out of them.
Aunts also farm insects as humans domesticate animals. For example, they make aphids to feed on plants and act as shepherds to protect them from other predators.
Also, they milk aphids. For this purpose, ants squeeze their abdominal part and bring juice from the digested plants into their mouth.
Now, this juice is used as nutrition for feeding the rest of the ant community.
Ant is much more intelligent as compared to any other creation.
For example, the wolf has the intellectual ability as the dogs. But if they find prey they immediately eat it at that spot rather than domesticating it using it for long-term benefit.
Like humans domesticate buffalos for milking rather than cutting it at the spot for farming. Same ants are using aphid milk for feeding the whole colony.
Besides human ant is the only creation that fights war and also keeps slaves as the result.
Although it is not a good example to cote war for intelligence it is highly organized.
Sometimes the war is not fought by the whole community against the opponent but only selective champions are selected from both parties of the fight and then the loss of victory of the champion is the fate of the belonging community.
The fight between ant communities is similar as humans fight in between for getting a particular territory or for food resources.
But the incredible thing is that ants keep slaves after getting the victory. If the opposition party is lost the survivors are captured by the army and kept in the special chambers.
Now they are the worker ants for the rest of the community. Although keeping slaves is not morally good for humans as well as for ants we are just focusing on the complex behavior hard work, strength, and organization they have in their work.
Conclusion – Do Ants Have Brains
Do ants have brains? Yes, they do. Ant is considered the most intelligent creation of the universe among insects or even animals.
The incredible thing is that at some point they have beat even humans. Human brain evolution caused a decrease in brain size in hominin brain evolution to affect brain function or brain cell density.
However, a decrease in brain volume, brain size increase, a decrease in body size,brain production or body size reduction is not a reason for decreasing intelliegnce in eusocial insects.
They perform the bewildering art of fighting wars, keeping slaves, domesticating animals, farm plants or density of the mushroom body, etc. as humans do.
We should not only consider her small size. This small size creation is highly intelligent.