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16 Learning from Ants Have you ever watched a long line of ants moving into a tiny hole in the ground ? If you look closely , you will see something interesting . No matter what obstacles * are in their path , the ants never stop moving in an organized way . That is not true for people . Just think , for example , of a crowd of people leaving a football stadium . They often push or get angry ; sometimes people even get hurt . Professor Martin Burd , a biologist , has been studying ants to learn their secret . He has discovered that their secret is teamwork . Ants often move in large groups . Unlike people , ants never race against each other to get to their destination . They move in long lines . When something stands in their way , the ants go around it , even if it takes longer for them to get to their destination . Moreover , Burd discovered that ants don’t stop . They may move more slowly , but they keep moving in the direction they have to go . Another thing we can learn from ants is that unlike people , ants don’t panic . They stay calm and polite to each other . They don’t try to save their own lives but behave for the good of the group . Although we can’t teach people to behave like ants , we can use this information to control crowds . Burd has suggested some ideas to help control large groups of people . One is to put pillars in front of exits ; another idea is to build zigzag * corridors leading to exits . In both situations , people will have to walk longer distances , but they will get to the exits faster . What’s more , they’ll arrive safely . So next time you see a long line of ants , don’t step on them . These tiny creatures have a lot to teach us .

ERIC COHEN BOOKS בע"מ


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