Science

A Scientific Study Into The Life Of Ants

Myrmecology: A Scientific Study Into The Life Of Ants

Ants have been studied and researched on for a long time. Scientists have been trying to pry secrets and solutions to human problems from the ants. Questions about evolution, societal organization and survival. Scientists believe that if anyone has the answers or perhaps, the key to our future and the survivability of humans, it could be the ants.

Ants have been around for a very long time. 120 million years long in fact. And in that time they have outlived the dinosaurs and numerous changes in the earth. So it is not a far fetched hypothesis that answers can be derived from the studying of ants.

Formicariums: An Introducion

One of the best tools for studying ants is the formicarium. Formicariums are man made ant nests and scientists built formicariums or ant farms to house entire ant colonies to observe ants up close! Every detail within an ants nest and in an ants behaviour is up for display and observation within a controlled environment.

Important questions like how does an ant build all the intricate tunnels within their nest, how do ants communicate, how many queen ants can an ant colony have (some species of ants may have more than one queen ant), all these questions have been answered by observing ants in their day to day activities and a formicarium allows for intimate observation for research purposes.

Construction of a Formicarium

A formicarium is made up of three key layers, the nest layer, the landscape layer and the containment layer. The nest layer is where the queen ant and her worker ants reside in. It is made up of a series of little chambers for food storage, egg storage and little tunnels for travelling. The landscape layer is essentially a foraging area, where food and water are layed out for the ants to consume. Finally we have the containment area, where either an uncrossable obstacle is layed out or a protective layer of oil is spread to prevent ants from escaping the formicarium!

Basic Ready Made Formicarium

Exquisite Hand Made Formicarium

The architecture of Formicariums can range from a simple and basic containment unit to a detailed, complex work of art where every detail is handcrafted. From the hand planted shrubbery to the hand carved chamber nests and even the sprinkling and placement of precious stones, there is no limit to the creativity in the creation of the perfect formicarium!


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