Teaching in tandem-running ants

NR Franks, T Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

307 Citations (Scopus)


The ant Temnothorax albipennis uses a technique known as tandem running to lead another ant from the nest to food —with signals between the two ants controlling both the speed and course of the run. Here we analyse the results of this communication and show that tandem running is an example of teaching, to our knowledge the first in a non-human animal that involves bidirectional feedback between teacher and pupil. This behaviour indicates that it could be the value of information, rather than the constraint of brain size, that has influenced the evolution of teaching.
Translated title of the contributionTeaching in tandem-running ants
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153 - 153
Number of pages1
Volume439 (7073)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


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