Tracking Ants

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AntsA few months ago NOVA aired and episode called Lord of the Ants (there’s a link to buy a copy below).  It was fascinating!  You might be thinking, “Yeah right…fascinating and ants?  Those two words don’t go together.”  Well, I agree that program all about ants doesn’t sound that interesting at first, but it really hooked me.  I learned quite a bit from E.O. Wilson’s research and a few weeks later when a bunch of them swarmed my foot in the front yard I had a new found interest in what they were doing.

Today as I was digging through my RSS reader I noticed that TechLearning posted a Prentice Hall interactive resource all about pheromones called How Ants Talk earlier this week.  I have been spending the past few minutes putting alarm and recruitment pheromones on the ground and watching how the animated ants behave.  Its pretty cool.  I wonder if you could get a giant bottle of these pheromones and lead them out of your yard?  This site would be a great compliment to the NOVA Lord of the Ants video if you show it in class.  I’m definitely going to bookmark it for one of those filler days like right before Christmas vacation or the assembly schedule I completely forgot about until the bells started ringing early.  One quick note – if you are a Mac user, the interactive site seems to work better in Apple’s Safari browser than Firefox.

Joe

Get a copy of the video, it’s worth it!: NOVA Lord of the Ants

Photo: Ants by Ceoln on Flickr.

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