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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Ant Life Part 1

Teamwork is part of life for ants. These social insects live in a society where group work is wired into each individual’s brain. Listen in as co-host Jane Rector and Dr. Biology learn about the world of ants from biologist Jennifer Fewell. Could leafcutter ants be one of the first animals to farm?

Content Info | Transcript


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Topic Time
Intro 00:00
Cohost Jane Rector introduces herself 00:17
Introduction of Jennifer Fewell 01:11
When bitten by ants was the reaction an allergic reaction or a normal reaction? [harvester ants] 01:40
Need to be stung at least once before you become allergic. 02:44
Jennifer's first experience with a social insect. 03:29
How powerful is the toxin of an ant? [Dr. Biology] 03:55
Ant escapes and the effect on colonies. [leaf cutter ants] 04:55
The story of mass colony escapes. 06:23
Why would ants move their colony? 07:12
What is the white gooey looking stuff inside the colonies? 07:54
How big are ants brains - and ant brain anatomy. [distributed nerve systems] 09:04
Ant communication. 10:45
Do the ants know what work they are going to do when they become an adult? [ant roles - age-based division of labor] 12:01
Are all the ants in a colony females or males? 14:12
When do boy ants come into the colony and do they work? 15:15
Why do the queens chew their wings off? 17:01
Can a colony of leafcutters start without bringing some starter fungus? 17:30
How did fungus first get started? [Leaf cutter ants] 18:17
Is there only one queen who starts a colony? 19:06
Do ants have feelings for each other? 20:11
Can ants recognize each other? [experiment to test this] 21:22
Have scientists studied the difference in pheromones? 22:58
How do you start one of your laboratory ant colonies? 23:24
What happens if the queen loses the fungus if you bring her to the laboratory. [trans-funganation] 24:23
Is the fungus like baking sourdough bread starter? [Dr. Biology] 25:05
Does the fungus naturally hang from the top? 25:31
Not all ants can sting - correct - or do they bite? 26:19
Show break between part 1 and part 2. 27:23

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Ant Life Part 1

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.