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How do animals find their way back home? A brief overview of homing behavior with special reference to social Hymenoptera

Mandal, S (2018) How do animals find their way back home? A brief overview of homing behavior with special reference to social Hymenoptera. In: INSECTES SOCIAUX, 65 (4). pp. 521-536.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00040-018-0647-2


Performing efficient homing, i.e., returning to a previously known place, is crucial for the survival of any motile animal. Animals perform homing across different spatial scales and environments, employing various mechanisms with the aid of different sensorimotor systems molded by their varied evolutionary histories and ecological constraints. Despite these differences, most of the homing mechanisms across different taxa can be explained by some general basic mechanisms. Studies from social hymenopterans contribute substantially to the knowledge base of this study field and are, especially, interestingthey show excellent homing capabilities while possessing relatively simple neural architectures, and hence, their homing mechanisms are considered as economic solutions to a complex problem. Moreover, many of their homing mechanisms have also been observed in other taxa including vertebrates. With the advent of new technologies and increased research, our understanding of the hymenopteran homing is improving faster than everand therefore, a regular contemporary update might be of much help. In this review, I present a brief synthesis of previous and current understanding of homing mechanisms in social hymenopterans, with descriptions of the cues that they exploit for homing, and a comparative discussion on terminologies frequently used in social Hymenoptera with analogous terminologies used to describe similar phenomena in other taxa. I conclude with a note on the potential of applying the knowledge from homing studies in other fields of research like neurobiology and robotics, and possible future directions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to SPRINGER BASEL AG
Keywords: Animal homing; Spatial orientation; Navigation; Social Hymenoptera; Homing cues; Homing mechanisms
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2018 15:50
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2018 15:50
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/61105

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