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ANT ARMY RATIONS

Study how ants communicate to find their food

Suitable For

Grade 5

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Ants are interesting creatures and they are extremely organized. Ants are very social insects and they make use of a highly developed scent-based communication system. The ants leave a trail of this scent called ‘pheromones’ along their paths to communicate with other ants, as you will see in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Pheromones, Worker ants

What will I need?

  • GLASS JAR
  • SOIL WITH ANTS
  • LARGE DEEP TRAY
  • PERSPEX SHEET TO FIT OVER TRAY
  • MODELLING CLAY
  • PEANUT BUTTER
  • DIGGING SPADE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

Ants produce chemicals in their bodies used for communicating with each other called ‘pheromones’. The ants that discovered the food source first in this experiment, then start to leave a trail of this ‘pheromones’ for the other ants to follow to the food. This is also the reason why all ants almost always march on the same paths that were set originally, even if it is not the most efficient route. Except for indicating the path to food, ‘pheromones’ is also used to communicate other messages, such as distress signals to the other ants in the colony.

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