The art of intelligence

Published on November 16th, 2012
The art of intelligence

– by Zandile Gumede

Whenever we speak of intelligence, people seem to think that it is only applicable to the human species.

Studies done have shown that ants, although very small with an even smaller brain of 250 000 brain cells, are also intelligent and in some cases even more than humans. Ants understand their needs and work hard to provide for those needs with dedication.

Ants use their intelligence to reason, plan and communicate with the other ants in a highly organized manner. This is demonstrated when ants are looking for new places to live in and when looking food.

When an ant knows where to find food, it will lead the new ant to the area communicating by the use of chemicals signals. The rest of the ant colony follows the path and keep the communication open. Should there be an obstacle on their path, they will eventually find their way around it and continue with their goal.

Ants are best at team work. While one ant may find it hard to carry an object much bigger than it is, a group of ants working together are able to lift and carry away an object bigger than all of them put together. Their team work is well managed and efficient. The same goes for when they have to defend their colony, they work together to attack and protect.

Ants are also intelligent in that they know during which seasons to work hard and gather food for storage. But they also farm, hunt and raise animals called Aphids. They raise these animals the same way humans raise cows and milk off the honey the aphids secrete. The ants protect and provide food source for the aphids to make sure they are safe and are able to produce the food the ants need.

Lastly, ants have been around for millions of years even dating back to dinosaur times. Over the years, they have been smart enough to outlive the dinosaurs and will probably outlive the humans too. They are intelligent enough to know what they need to do to survive. A simple life.