Division of labour and 'foraging for work': simulating reality versus the reality of simulations

Robson, Simon K., and Beshers, Samuel N. (1997) Division of labour and 'foraging for work': simulating reality versus the reality of simulations. Animal Behaviour, 53 (1). pp. 214-218.

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[Extract] Division of labour by worker age is one of the most prominent and widespread features of colony organization in the social insects. Tofts & Franks (1992) and Tofts (1993) proposed through simulations that a simple algorithm ('foraging for work') serves as a general model for understanding task allocation in eusocial animals ranging from ants and bees to naked mole-rats. They claimed that a correlation between worker age and tasks can arise from a set of simple behavioural rules in combination with a spatial organization of tasks within the nest, without any mechanism that causally links worker age and behaviour. Temporal polyethism emerges as a by-product of individual rules; ultimately they question whether age polyethism is itself 'a myth' (Franks 1994, page 238).

Item ID: 22494
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8282
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 04:11
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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