New A team of researchers including scientists from the University of Florida has shown insect colonies follow some of the same biological “rules” as individuals, a finding that suggests insect societies operate like a single “superorganism” in terms of their physiology and life cycle. […]
Now, researchers from UF, the University of Oklahoma and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have taken the same mathematical models that predict lifespan, growth and reproduction in individual organisms and used them to predict these features in whole colonies.
By analyzing data from 168 different social insect species including ants, termites, bees and wasps, the authors found that the lifespan, growth rates and rates of reproduction of whole colonies when considered as superorganisms were nearly indistinguishable from individual organisms.
(via Chris Arkenberg)