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Vector navigation in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis: celestial compass cues are essential for the proper use of distance information.


Sommer, S; Wehner, R (2005). Vector navigation in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis: celestial compass cues are essential for the proper use of distance information. Naturwissenschaften, Die, 92(10):468-471.

Abstract

Foraging desert ants navigate primarily by path integration. They continually update homing direction and distance by employing a celestial compass and an odometer. Here we address the question of whether information about travel distance is correctly used in the absence of directional information. By using linear channels that were partly covered to exclude celestial compass cues, we were able to test the distance component of the path-integration process while suppressing the directional information. Our results suggest that the path integrator cannot process the distance information accumulated by the odometer while ants are deprived of celestial compass information. Hence, during path integration directional cues are a prerequisite for the proper use of travel-distance information by ants.

Abstract

Foraging desert ants navigate primarily by path integration. They continually update homing direction and distance by employing a celestial compass and an odometer. Here we address the question of whether information about travel distance is correctly used in the absence of directional information. By using linear channels that were partly covered to exclude celestial compass cues, we were able to test the distance component of the path-integration process while suppressing the directional information. Our results suggest that the path integrator cannot process the distance information accumulated by the odometer while ants are deprived of celestial compass information. Hence, during path integration directional cues are a prerequisite for the proper use of travel-distance information by ants.

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21 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:1 October 2005
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:15
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0028-1042
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-005-0020-y
PubMed ID:16163506

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