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Friday, December 23, 2011

Remember to Smile

When I see wasps, I say to myself “Stay Away!”  But after reading an article this morning I have gained a little respect for the little creature.  This is why:
Researchers have found that wasps that live in hierarchal colonies use facial recognition to recognize friends and foes.  Wasps that do not live in colonies have the ability but it is not as fine tuned as the colonized wasps. 
The Study:
Researchers printed out pictures of insects, shapes and other species and put them in a maze.  Each photo would represent a path and to get to the end of the maze our stingy little friend would have to follow the right photo.  They found that the wasps recognized the photos of their fellow wasps.  When the pictures of the wasps were altered slightly, the wasps in the maze found it harder to go through the maze. 
Another trait found in wasps was the trait of aggression.  When these wasps did not recognize a face they became agitated and more aggressive. 
Perhaps we should smile next time we see a wasp.  It would be a lot less painful if they don’t sting us. 

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