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While studying different-sized ant colonies, Cole discovered that when there were only a few ants in the space provided, each individual exhibited a chaotic pattern of activity and rest. As the density of the colony increased by the addition of more ants, Cole observed a sudden transition to dynamic order: patterns of activity and rest over the colony as a whole suddenly changed from chaotic to rhythmic. Why should the density of ants play an apparently crucial role in the transition from chaotic to ordered behavior? Ants interact with one another, and an active ant encountering an inactive one will stimulate the latter into movement. At low densities there are few encounters, but at higher densities activity can spread like a contagion through the colony.