Rethinking ants: New Rolla research creates model to predict colony growth and survival

Jan 2, 2013

Credit Bulldog Pottery / Flickr

New research out of Rolla finds that larger ant colonies have an edge over smaller ones.

A Missouri University of Science and Technology assistant professor is one of the authors of a study published in the Dec. 23rd issue of the journal Biology Letters.

The study describes a new mathematical model that can predict the survival, growth and life span of ant colonies. It developed the mathematical models used to predict colony growth and survival.

The research found that smaller colonies and the ants in them tend to live faster, die younger and burn up more energy than their larger counterparts.

The research views the colonies as so-called "superorganisms" where social insects function much like the cells of a body.