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Rob Dunn Lab

Ant Picnic

Cost Outdoors

Inform scientists about global food preferences of ants

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Prepare 6 food types for ants to learn more about what they prefer to snack on, tell us a little about the environment where you set up your ant picnic, count the ants that came to each food type, take a picture of your experiment, collect the ants to confirm your count and report the results.

Since 2011 the Rob Dunn Lab at North Carolina State University has been asking the question, “Which ant species live where?” and citizen scientists have been answering by collecting ants with cookies in their backyards and schoolyards and mailing them to the lab. Now we are asking another question about those ants: What do ants prefer to eat around the world?

Although diet preferences and needs for humans are well documented, we are still learning about the diet preferences of ants in different parts of the world. What ants eat at different times of the year and in different places around the world tells us what might be missing in their environment and how climate change could impact ant populations.

You can find the Ant Picnic educators’ guide here:http://studentsdiscover.org/lesson/ant-picnic/

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Ticket Required: No

Minimum Age: 13

Languages: English

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