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biotermite2nddraft - Termite line following is not...

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Termite line following is not influenced by tactile sense or paper indentation By: Alyse Elkins Lab Partners: Lauren Retton, Casey Goebel, Amanda Harker, and Justin Lego TA: Joshua Smith Lab Section: 004 Introduction: Pheromones are chemicals that a variety of different animals and bugs use for communication (Wyatt, 2010). Included in this variety are termites, which often use pheromones to organize their societies and forage (Howse, 1984). The pheromones help termites signal each other and also follow trails (Olugbemi, 2007). Termites follow several different kinds of pheromones, including those naturally produced and also those that are in the ink of a ballpoint pen (Chen, J., Henderson, G. & Laine, R., 1988). Chen et al. (1988) also found that termites will follow trails that only contain nonpheromone chemicals. They did not discuss whether termite trail following is influence by tactile sense. However, Freeman (2008) wrote that termites use a tactile sense, in some cases, to communicate. They use their sense of touch to locate shelter and forage for food. Termites use pheromones for both communication and navigation, so our group wanted to see if termites could use their tactile sense to follow a path. If termites use their tactile sense to follow a path, then they will follow a depression on a piece of paper with no pheromone-containing ink. Methods: A termite was placed on a piece of plain white computer paper with a circle drawn in Unison Medium Point black pen on it. Thirty seconds was timed.
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