Ava M.

Recent Posts

Ants Go Marching: Fun Facts About How Ants Navigate

Posted by Ava M. on 5/30/18 6:50 PM

Desert ants don’t need to emulate Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs to get out of the forest; they can just count their steps! Ants who live in dense forests create scented trails home by squeezing glands covering their bodies on the floor. But the intense heat of the Sahara destroys these scents and there are few environmental markers to help the ant navigate back to the nest after foraging for food. Scientists from the University of Ulm discovered that some ants have an internal “pedometer” that helps them evaluate how far they have walked. Specifically, they use a strategy called path integration that uses vector math.

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Tags: biology

A Brief History of Darwin and His Pigeons

Posted by Ava M. on 5/23/18 9:30 PM

In biology class you’re told ad naseum that the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.  Darwin is credited as first publishing the cohesive argument in On the Origin of Species in 1859 and it was his love of pigeons that greatly informed his research. You heard that right. Pigeons, not finches. As a wealthy man living in London, Darwin raised pigeons in his backyard. These were not the kinds you see pecking around trashcans; these were majestic birds with curly hair, prominent chests, or peacock-like tails.

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