Gid’on Lev had this information in Haaretz. Here is an excerpt:
Human beings did not invent democracy. Among certain animal species, decisions are also made in accordance with the majority opinion, with each individual having an equal degree of influence. For example, certain flocks of birds decide how and when to fly based on how the majority chooses to move.
In a frequently observed phenomenon unique to human beings, the majority will concede to the minority on a certain issue in order to avoid conflict, while compromising on its needs, convenience or views in the process. Now, for the first time, scientific research has identified a similar concession by the majority among animals. The experiment was conducted on carpenter ants (Camponotus sanctus), a Middle Eastern species commonly found in Israel in the mountainous areas around Jerusalem. The findings were published last week in the journal Current Biology.
The study looked at a known ant behavior called “house-hunting.” Professor Ofer Feinerman of the Weizmann Institute Department of Physics of Complex Systems says that ants often need to leave their nests, either because it was destroyed or became too small for them and cannot be expanded. When that happens, “They search for another home in the surrounding area, kind of like people do, and they have to select a location and move to it.”
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