Skip to content

Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Digging the optimum pit : antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification. / Franks, Nigel R.; Worley, Alan; Falkenberg, Max; Sendova-Franks, Ana B.; Christensen, Kim.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 286, No. 1899, 27.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Franks, NR, Worley, A, Falkenberg, M, Sendova-Franks, AB & Christensen, K 2019, 'Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 286, no. 1899. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0365

APA

Franks, N. R., Worley, A., Falkenberg, M., Sendova-Franks, A. B., & Christensen, K. (2019). Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1899). https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0365

Vancouver

Franks NR, Worley A, Falkenberg M, Sendova-Franks AB, Christensen K. Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2019 Mar 27;286(1899). https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0365

Author

Franks, Nigel R. ; Worley, Alan ; Falkenberg, Max ; Sendova-Franks, Ana B. ; Christensen, Kim. / Digging the optimum pit : antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2019 ; Vol. 286, No. 1899.

Bibtex

@article{eeabbd8d23e641c19431043d7e1db407,
title = "Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification",
abstract = "Most animal traps are constructed from self-secreted silk, so antlions are rare among trap builders because they use only materials found in the environment. We show how antlions exploit the properties of the substrate to produce very effective structures in the minimum amount of time. Our modelling demonstrates how antlions: (i) exploit self-stratification in granular media differentially to expose deleterious large grains at the bottom of the construction trench where they can be ejected preferentially, and (ii) minimize completion time by spiral rather than central digging. Both phenomena are confirmed by our experiments. Spiral digging saves time because it enables the antlion to eject material initially from the periphery of the pit where it is less likely to topple back into the centre. As a result, antlions can produce their pits-lined almost exclusively with small slippery grains to maximize powerful avalanches and hence prey capture-much more quickly than if they simply dig at the pit's centre. Our demonstration, for the first time to our knowledge, of an animal using self-stratification in granular media exemplifies the sophistication of extended phenotypes even if they are only formed from material found in the animal's environment.",
keywords = "animal traps, extended phenotype, granular materials, optimized construction, self-organization, spontaneous stratification",
author = "Franks, {Nigel R.} and Alan Worley and Max Falkenberg and Sendova-Franks, {Ana B.} and Kim Christensen",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "27",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2019.0365",
language = "English",
volume = "286",
journal = "Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "The Royal Society",
number = "1899",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Digging the optimum pit

T2 - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

AU - Franks, Nigel R.

AU - Worley, Alan

AU - Falkenberg, Max

AU - Sendova-Franks, Ana B.

AU - Christensen, Kim

PY - 2019/3/27

Y1 - 2019/3/27

N2 - Most animal traps are constructed from self-secreted silk, so antlions are rare among trap builders because they use only materials found in the environment. We show how antlions exploit the properties of the substrate to produce very effective structures in the minimum amount of time. Our modelling demonstrates how antlions: (i) exploit self-stratification in granular media differentially to expose deleterious large grains at the bottom of the construction trench where they can be ejected preferentially, and (ii) minimize completion time by spiral rather than central digging. Both phenomena are confirmed by our experiments. Spiral digging saves time because it enables the antlion to eject material initially from the periphery of the pit where it is less likely to topple back into the centre. As a result, antlions can produce their pits-lined almost exclusively with small slippery grains to maximize powerful avalanches and hence prey capture-much more quickly than if they simply dig at the pit's centre. Our demonstration, for the first time to our knowledge, of an animal using self-stratification in granular media exemplifies the sophistication of extended phenotypes even if they are only formed from material found in the animal's environment.

AB - Most animal traps are constructed from self-secreted silk, so antlions are rare among trap builders because they use only materials found in the environment. We show how antlions exploit the properties of the substrate to produce very effective structures in the minimum amount of time. Our modelling demonstrates how antlions: (i) exploit self-stratification in granular media differentially to expose deleterious large grains at the bottom of the construction trench where they can be ejected preferentially, and (ii) minimize completion time by spiral rather than central digging. Both phenomena are confirmed by our experiments. Spiral digging saves time because it enables the antlion to eject material initially from the periphery of the pit where it is less likely to topple back into the centre. As a result, antlions can produce their pits-lined almost exclusively with small slippery grains to maximize powerful avalanches and hence prey capture-much more quickly than if they simply dig at the pit's centre. Our demonstration, for the first time to our knowledge, of an animal using self-stratification in granular media exemplifies the sophistication of extended phenotypes even if they are only formed from material found in the animal's environment.

KW - animal traps

KW - extended phenotype

KW - granular materials

KW - optimized construction

KW - self-organization

KW - spontaneous stratification

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063612640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2019.0365

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2019.0365

M3 - Article

VL - 286

JO - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1899

ER -