I am not convinced. What makes this system the “most efficient”?
A billion years of evolution to find a efficient way to search food?
It’s efficient for sure, but the most efficient?
Yes, like almost all the solutions that nature offers, that is the reason why the branch of engineering was created, called Bionics, with infinite current applications in aeronautics, new materials, chemistry and physics. For example the small vertical fins at the end of the aircraft wings, to reduce turbulence, are the result of this, also to name the lotus effect, or stickers inspired by the feet of the gecko, to climb smooth vertical surfaces and a long etc. . more.
The evolutionary effect can be mimicked by computer models, but this requires a huge number of iterations, to obtain (mostly bad) what nature achieved over many millions of generations, which alternatively just needs to be mimicked.
In the case of this fungus, similar results were achieved in other cities using ants, which also found the optimal paths.
My point is that you don’t know if it’s the optimal path
Naturally it is known, once the result has been verified and the distances/time/energy expenditure required have been measured.
The evolutionary process admits no other than the most efficient solution, either by path or energy, especially in very old current species, all of them adapted to the maximum to their corresponding environment.
Other solutions that nature offers even today are not yet well understood, such as photosynthesis, which only now with quantum physics is beginning to reveal how it works. Ceramic materials, harder than porcelain, created at room temperature in certain sea slug shells, spider silk that also cannot be reproduced satisfactorily…
We are very advanced technologically, but it is a mistake to think that we are at the top of what we understand. There are still many unknowns, many, and until now we only understand part of 5% of what surrounds us and what we can reproduce. No more.
No, definitely not “most efficient”. Nature is only rarely extremely efficient at any one thing, but given the complexity of the environment nature (through evolution) has managed to be “good enough” at a wide variety of things – often using tradeoffs that we fail to see even after looking a thousand times to deal with issues we have not yet begun to fathom. You’re right that many millions of generations, through evolution, can often find ways that are “more efficient” than what we humans have thought of in a just a relatively few iterations so far.
Believing that the “path” something in nature discovers is “most efficient” is pure unfounded faith and it is a grave mistake to “believe” that there is not some “more efficient” way to do something; with all the the ifs ands and buts all hanging and hinging on defining what is most important to any given circumstance at any given time.
BTW, comparing paths found between arbitrarily spaced nodes on an otherwise featureless medium decries all the issues of geography, physics, engineering, economy, personalities, and even other simple historical influences (the latter two of which would be next to impossible to model), in the creation of a rail system in the real world, and thinking that the former is better in any way than the latter is the height of hubris based on unscientific belief systems.
Naturally, evolution converges to the best corresponding adaptability of the species. this even leads to such a perfect optimization of some very old species, that they have practically not evolved any more for millions of years.
As the evolutionary adaptations are perfected, the evolutionary pressure of the environment decreases, converging to zero.
Certainly in younger species, like us, practically the most recent, there is still room to continue evolving, but this is not the case in species that have existed for tens of millions of years, at most varying in size, as in insects. , today much smaller than before due to a lower amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, but its biomechanics remains the same as it was 200 million years ago.
These solutions offered by nature in any case are superior to what we can reproduce artificially in many cases, it shows in the solutions offered by the bionic industry, although having good results, they are rarely as efficient as their original model of nature. As is the case of photo synthesis, where our artificial imitations are still quite deficient, or micro robotics, which has results that are far from reaching the capabilities of a simple cockroach.
Some species may not yet have optimized their evolutionary adaptation, but it would be the holy grail of science to get to at least this degree.
Perhaps a better way to express the point I was trying to make is to say that if you want to talk about most efficient then you have to define the requirements for what that means. Nature’s “most efficient” may not be man’s most efficient. That video was the “most” egregious misuse of defining efficiency since it ignored most (all but location) information about the requirements for defining interconnections between locations! Ignorance at its best.
It is not this, it is clear that a solution offered by nature is perfect for certain environments and not necessarily for others.
With the example of winglets on aircraft wings to reduce or cancel turbulence, the model offered by the wings of some birds served, which have this perfect solution It is also used in the blades of some turbines, increasing their efficiency considerably.
That this solution of nature does not serve to walk better or to have unrelated abilities is clear, for this there are other solutions.
These are solutions that nature offers for certain functions, these are used in bionics, for new materials, functions and devices. Like the well-known Lotus effect that has been used for a long time on all types of surfaces, to repel water and dirt, an effect observed in the Lotus leaves, which is perfect for this function. Adhesive tapes and surfaces, inspired by the feet of the Gecko, capable of climbing vertically on glass and any other surface, also used in building cleaning robots that can climb a wall without problems.
Solutions that nature offers to certain problems, which in their practical totality are perfect.
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