Agriculture
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Newts
Salamanders
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Ants on Stilts
Fishing for Giant Squid
A Butterfly's New Green Glow
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When Darwin got sick of feathers
Taking a Spill for Science
Puberty gone wild
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Hitting the redo button on evolution
Lighting goes digital
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
Dino-Dining Dinosaurs
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Deep History
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Hot Summers, Wild Fires
Environment
The Oily Gulf
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Finding the Past
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Untangling Human Origins
Fish
Carp
Piranha
Parrotfish
Food and Nutrition
A Taste for Cheese
Healing Honey
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Math of the World
Detecting True Art
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
What the appendix is good for
Music in the Brain
Disease Detectives
Invertebrates
Clams
Leeches
Crustaceans
Mammals
Chihuahuas
Rottweilers
Domestic Shorthairs
Parents
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Physics
The Particle Zoo
Project Music
Road Bumps
Plants
Getting the dirt on carbon
Flower family knows its roots
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Iguanas
Copperhead Snakes
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Baby Star
Killers from Outer Space
Zooming In on the Wild Sun
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Robots on a Rocky Road
Middle school science adventures
Weather
A Change in Climate
Science loses out when ice caps melt
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
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Professor Ant

If you haven't appreciated your teachers lately, now might be a good time to reflect on all that they do for you. Good teachers already know the information that they're teaching, but they slow down to explain it to you. With their help, you learn far faster than you would on your own. And teachers take the time to listen to your questions and steer you in the right direction. One kind of ant does all of these things, too, a new study finds. It is, in fact, the first time that scientists have demonstrated true teaching in an animal other than humans. "One would have expected to see teaching in chimpanzees or [some other primate], but for the first fairly strong evidence of it to come from ants is surprising and interesting," says Bennett G. Galef Jr. of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The tiny ant Temnothorax albipennis lives in small nests among the rocks on the southern coast of England. Previously, researchers had been watching how these ants go about moving to a new home. They noticed that ants that know the way either carry their buddies or run very close in front of them as guides. The guiding behavior is interesting because ants run much faster when alone or even when carrying others. In their lab, researchers from the University of Bristol in England worked with colonies of Temnothorax albipennis that had a sugar solution placed 15 centimeters (6 inches) away from their nests. The scientists filmed the colony's behavior and then spent hundreds of hours analyzing the videotape. The analyses showed that running with another ant took four times as long as running alone. So, just as teachers slow down to help you, ants were slowing down to help each other. Follower ants also tapped their antennae on the backs of the leaders, and both ants adjusted their speeds to stay together. These behaviors indicate a communication system between teacher and student, just like the questions you ask when you're confused. The student ant also sometimes stopped the guided trek to turn this way and that as if it were looking for landmarks. The true test of good teaching is whether the lessons work, and the ants passed this test with flying colors, too. With a teacher-guide, it took ants only two-thirds as long to find the sugar as it did for untaught ants to discover it on their own. Moreover, after the lesson, student ants often managed to find their own shortcuts on the way home, a sign that they had learned the neighborhood well during their guided trip to the food. And the student ants sometimes turned into teachers themselves. All this activity appears to pay off for Temnothorax albipennis. Through careful teaching, ants are able to get coworkers to a food source without having to lay down a scent trail, which might go unnoticed anyway.—E. Sohn

Professor Ant
Professor Ant








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