The emergence of the concept of a tool in food-retrieving behavior of the ants Formica japonica Motschulsky

Nobuhide Kitabayashi, Yoshiyuki Kusunoki, Yukio Pegio Gunji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a weak definition for the usage of a tool for an ethological study of ants. In particular, we illustrate the usage of a cart in experiments on the transportation of foods by ants as employing a logical structure including a contradiction. The contradiction originates in ruling out the very term 'tool' from the description of the behavior of the animals. Focusing on a self-similar structure underlying the description of a contradiction, we observe a particular time-series sequence of ants' behaviors following a 1/f or Zipf's law. The behaviors following the 1/f or Zipf's law manifest an appropriateness of the notion of a cart as a logical jump. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 May 1



  • Anthropomorphism
  • Emergent property
  • Usage of tool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this