Category Archives: Biological rhythms

DOES AN ANT KNOW HOW OLD IT IS?

October 2007

Ant societies are very ageist: young ants tend to look after the brood, while older ants go out and forage. How do they know when they should do what? An elegant study in Animal Behaviour (open access) suggests that they have a measure of how old they are – and it isn’t a biological clock! There’s a summary in The Independent.

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Filed under Biological rhythms

NIGHT-TIME ROBINS

April 2007

You may have heard birds singing their hearts out in the night and, like me, blamed light pollution for keeping them awake. Not at all, it appears. They are in fact singing because of noise pollution in the day…

BBC summary here, original Biology Letters article here (open access).

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Filed under Biological rhythms, Birds

BEES KNOW WHAT TO DO, AND WHEN TO DO IT

Open access article in Journal of Experimental Biology, showing that bees can be trained to perform behaviours at specific times, demonstrating the interaction between learning and circadian rhythms. Go here.

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ASK AN INSECT WHAT TIME IT IS

October 2006

A short review in Current Biology of how insects know how long they have been foraging, flying, or whatever.

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Filed under Behaviour, Biological rhythms, Insects