The World Around Us

Chemicals in the Natural World

How do ants know how to organize their colonies so efficiently?

Ants use a set of pheromones to communicate information between individual members of the colony. There are different chemical markers that indicate trails to food, alarm pheromones that are released when an ant is killed, and a number are used in the reproductive process. Some ant colonies even use pheromones to trick enemy colonies into attacking themselves or to convince the opposition into becoming worker ants for their own benefit.


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