Week 5 - Colonial (Social) Insects
Social insects are likely some of the most well known species of insects. The bees which provide us with so many resources, the ants which seem to dominate every environment they exist in, and termites that act as a force of nature on their own. How did working together evolve, and what benefits may this form of existence have? So all social insects have the same structure? In the following readings, you will learn more about social insects, which you will then interpret and contribute to the focus questions below:
Readings and Content:
- North Carolina State University - Social Insects - A great place to start when it comes to learning a bit about what makes a social insect, and different definitions of social insects.
- BioOne - How Insects Achieved Atruism and Social Life - This is a tough read, but a really vital one. This publication helps create the basis for most of what we understand about social insects today.
- LiveScience - Insect Colonies function like Superorganisms - This is a nice popsci article about why some insects can be considered "superorganisms"
- What are the differences between "truly social" insects and partially social insects?
- What is a superorganism, and are there other examples of these in nature?
- Why could an ant colony be said to be "genius"?
- How did social insects evolve?