In the search for food the ants could not lose time. "The shorter you’re out, the better," says wolf. Enemies lurked above the nest, and it was dangerous heib. To search as effectively as possible, insects focus on locations that have proven lucrative before, rather than wandering around on a rough flat.
Two questions are crucial for the foraging ants: is there still food today in the same place where i was successful yesterday?? And if not, how likely is it that there is fodder in the near vicinity? For their experiment, the researchers directed honey ants of the species cataglyphis fortis out of their nest to a place where sometimes many, sometimes few and sometimes none of the cake crumbs were lying. There were two versions of the test setup with many crooks: piled up or spread out.
The more crumbs the ants found, the more they concentrated on exactly the same spot on their next visit. The less they found, the rougher was the flat they searched the next time around. "But they can’t pay," says wolf. If 25 crumbs were packed tightly together, they estimated the quantity more roughly – and thus the location more reliably – than if 25 crumbs were scattered loose.