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again to the nest. Meeting one of her friends on the way she conversed with her a little, then continued towards the nest, but, after going about a foot, changed her mind, and retumed with her friend to the fly. After some minutes, during which two or three other ants came up, one of them detached a leg, which she carried off to the nest, coming out again almost immediately with six friends, one of whom, curiously enough, seemed to lead the way, tracing it, I presume, by scent.

Ι I then removed the pin, and they carried off the fly in triumph.

Again, on June 15, 1878, another ant belonging to the same nest had found a dead spider, about the same distance from the nest. I pinned down the spider as before. The ant did all in her power to move it; but after trying for twelve minutes, she went off to the nest. Although for a quarter of an hour no other ant had left the nest, yet in a few seconds she came out again with 10 companions. As in the preceding case, they followed very leisurely. She ran on ahead and worked at the spider for ten minutes; when, as none of her friends had arrived to her assistance, though they were wandering about, evidently in search of something, she started back home again. In three quarters of a minute after entering the nest she reappeared, this time with 15 friends, who came on somewhat more rapidly than the preceding batch, though still but slowly. By degrees, however, they all came up, and after most persevering efforts carried off the spider piecemeal. On July 7, I tried the same experiment with a soldier of Pheidole megacephala. She pulled at the fly for no less than fifty minutes, after which she went to the nest and brought five friends exactly as the Atta had done.

In the same way, one afternoon at 6.20 I presented a slave of Polyergus with a dead fly pinned down. The result was quite different. My ant pulled at the fly for twenty-five minutes, when, as in the previous cases, she returned to the nest. There she remained four or five minutes, and then came out again alone, returned to the fly, and again tried to carry it off. After working fruitlessly for between twenty and twentyfive minutes, she again went back to the nest, staying there four or five minutes, and then returning by herself to the fly once more.

I then went

away hour, but on my return found her still tugging at the fly by herself. One hour later again I looked, with the same result. Shortly afterwards another ant wandering about found the fly, but obviously, as it seemed to me, by accident.

At 3 o'clock on a subsequent day I again put a dead fly pinned on to a bit of cork before a Formica fusca, who was out hunting. She tried in vain to carry it off, ran round and round, tugged in every direction, and at length at ten minutes to four she returned to the nest : very soon after she reappeared preceded by one and followed by two friends; these, however, failed to discover the fly, and after wandering about a little returned

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to the nest. She then set again to work alone, and in about forty minutes succeeded in cutting off the head of the fly, which she at once carried into the nest. In a little while she came out again, this time accompanied by five friends, all of whom found their way to the fly; one of these, having cut off the abdomen of the fly, took it into the nest, leaving three of her companions to bring in the remainder of their prey.

These experiments certainly seem to indicate the possession by ants of something approaching to language. It is impossible to doubt that the friends were brought out by the first ant; and as she returned empty-handed to the nest, the others cannot have been induced to follow her merely by observing her proceedings. In face of such facts as these, it is impossible not to ask ourselves how far are ants mere exquisite automatons ; how far are they conscious beings? When we see an ant-hill, tenanted by thousands of industrious inhabitants, excavating chambers, forming tunnels, making roads, guarding their home, gathering food, feeding the young, tending their domestic animals, -each one fulfilling its duties industriously, and without confusion,-it is difficult altogether to deny to them the gift of reason; and the preceding observations tend to confirm the opinion that their mental powers differ from those of men, not so much in kind as in degree.

CHAPTER VIII.

ON THE SENSES OF ANTS.

The Sense of Vision. It is, I think, generally assumed not only that the world really exists as we see it, but that it appears to other animals pretty much as it does to us. A little consideration, however, is sufficient to show that this is very far from being certain, or even probable.

In the case of insects, moreover, the mode of vision is still an enigma. They have, at least many of them have, a large compound eye on each side ; and ocelli, generally three in number, situated on the summit of the head. The compound eyes consist of a number of facets, each situated at the summit of a tube, to the base of which runs a fibre of the optic nerve.

The structure of the ocellus and that of the compound eye are essentially different, and it does not seem possible that either the ocellus should be derived from the compound eye, or the compound eye from the ocellus. On the contrary, both seem to point back to a less developed ancestral type. Starting from such an origin, an increase of the separate elements and an improvement of the lens would lead to the ocellus, while

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an increase of the number of eyes would bring us to the compound eye.

On the other hand, it must be admitted that there are reasons for considering the different kinds of eyes to be of perfectly distinct origin. The eye of Limulus, according to Grenacher, is formed on a plan quite unlike that of other Crustacea. Again, the development of the eye in Musca, to judge from Weismann's observations, is very dissimiliar from that of other insects. The varied position of the eye in different groups, as, for instance, in Pecten, Spondylus, , Euphausia, Onchidium, &c., point to the same conclusion.

It seems clear that the image produced by the ocelli must be altogether different from the picture given by the compound eyes; and we may therefore reasonably conclude that the two organs have distinct functions. It used formerly to be supposed that the compound eyes were intended for distant, the ocelli for near vision. Claparède, however, has maintained the opposite theory, while Mr. Lowne regards the ocelli as incapable of producing anything worthy the name of an image,' and suspects that their function is the perception of the intensity in the direction of light, rather than vision.'

The ocelli, or simple eyes, probably see in the same manner as ours do. That is to say, the lens throws an image on the back of the eye, which we call the retina. In that case they would see everything really reversed,

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