Researchers during The University of Western Australia have detected how ants see in colour, a breakthrough that one day could assistance scientists emanate some-more unconstrained robots.
In a paper published currently in Proceedings of a Royal Society B, researchers Dr Yuri Ogawa and Dr Jan Hemmi from UWA’s School of Animal Biology uncover for a initial time that a Australian longhorn ants (like humans) have 3 forms of photoreceptors that are supportive to opposite colours (UV, Blue and Green) and therefore a intensity for trichromatic colour vision.
Photoreceptors are a cells in a eye that are supportive to light. This means that their colour prophesy is expected to be as good as that of humans and aged universe primates and significantly improved than that of other mammals such as dogs, cats or wallabies.
Most mammals have usually dual forms of photoreceptors they can use for colour vision, heading to poorer colour perception. However, in contrariety to humans, a longhorn ants can also see UV light, that means they can see opposite colours than we do.
In addition, one of a dual class investigated is totally nocturnal, so they usually fodder during night after dusk. That means they use their 3 opposite photoreceptors forms during night, during light levels where humans are totally colour blind.
Dr Hemmi believes a pushing force behind a sophistication of their colour prophesy is their need to navigate to and from their nest.
“In contrariety to many other termite species, longhorn ants fodder individually, do not lay pheromone trails like other termite class and use usually prophesy to navigate,’ he said.
“The bad fortitude of these ants means they see a universe by an eye with usually 2-3000 pixels and that contingency make it really formidable to accurately brand landmarks. Having accurate colour prophesy could therefore assistance with landmark identification. It is utterly probable that navigation has played a vital purpose in a early expansion of colour vision.”
The wider context of a investigate is to find out how animals see their world. With ants, a many engaging doubt is how miniaturisation affects their feeling systems and a researchers would like to know what strategies ants use to overcome miniaturisation effects such as tiny eyes and really singular estimate energy (small brains). The seductiveness in miniaturisation comes from both biology and robotics.
Finding how animals navigate and see their universe with really singular resources and how they use these resources to best outcome could, in a prolonged run, assistance scientists pattern some-more unconstrained and effective robots and vehicles.
Source: University of Western Australia