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Scientists Simulate Ant Warfare Using Age of Empires Computer Game


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Different ant species at 'war'.

The researchers found small armies of strong soldiers did better in complex terrain-based battlefields, and large armies of weaker soldiers did better in simple open battlefields.

Credit: Bruce Webber/CSIRO

Scientists at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and the University of Western Australia (UWA) used the computer game "Age of Empires" to simulate ant ‘warfare’, in efforts to eradicate an invasive ant species.

The researchers modeled armies, battlefields, and clashes between large, native Australian meat ants and smaller, invasive Argentine ants, and mapped the results.

Mathematical models of warfare emerged as the ants fought in a simple, predicable, quantifiable manner.

The researchers compared the models to real-world examples "to identify points of commonality and difference between the simple and more complex systems," said UWA's Samuel Lymbery.

He said this research could inform new habitat management strategies to give native ants a competitive advantage over non-native ants.

From ABC News (Australia)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


 

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