Monday, 2 March 2009
Image - close up take from mrx.no
Ants use pheromones to mark their trail and guide following ants. They mark the path as they go along ant leave tiny little messages. If the trail is successful and more and more ants follow up the guidance becomes more intense and denser, whereas other trails fade out.
Exactly this was visualized by Sean Dockray in his animation Ameising 1.
Image - Animation still by Sean Dockray
The ants movement was recorded in a 45 minutes shot and then retraced with software support each ant, frame by frame (would probably be quite simple nowadays with the new After Effects functions).
The emerging output might not be the collective memory, as it is called by the author, but some kind of selective evolution of spatial organization.
To read more about ants, the new ant bible has only recently been published: The Super-organism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, by B Holldobler , Edward O. Wilson, on Amazon for some £30.00.