About Ants

WHY ANTS

Ants...

You might think you already know all there is to know about ants but I promise you, you will be surprised in more than one way!

WHY NOW

Insect decline and habitat loss…

are important topics that are gaining relevance.

The Discover Ants concept contributes to building awareness for insects and their importance for nature and the environment. The program also aligns with directives by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (see Grunderlass Umweltbildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung (2014)).

There are over 15,000 ant species on earth.

Ants are social and live in colonies.

Ants communicate using their antennae to smell.

Ants and humans have a lot in common: they farm, keep livestock and build complex homes.

There are three different kinds of ants in most ant colonies: Workers (represent the majority of ants in a colony), the Queen (larger than a worker and the only one laying fertilized eggs) and males (only around during mating season, look completely different than workers or queens).

You can find ants almost everywhere on the planet — and usually in great numbers.

Where ants occur, they play important roles within their ecosystems.

If ants disappeared from one day to the next, our environment would not be the same.

We need antsas much as we need bees and all other insects.

What kinds of ants are there?

Each ant species is unique. The Yellow Garden Ant, for instance, is pretty laid-back and won’t let herself get stressed easily. She enjoys hanging out at home and makes sure everything she needs is right there. Is that how you are too? – If so, then maybe the Yellow Garden Ant is YOUR ant!

Or maybe you’re a pretty stylish person and like to start your day with a delicious smoothie? Then you might have more in common with the Hercules Carpenter Ant:

In Module 2 you’ll get to know 15 different ant species and find out which of them is most similar to yourself!

How to distinguish different ant species?

In Austria there are 130 different ant species. Which characters are important to differentiate between them? The following questions will guide your way to a correct species identification:

Learn how to identify ants in Module 3 and get your own species identification key (A3 Format) in the webshop!

Doing science with ants

Science is a way to comprehend our world. But how does a scientific project actually work? The scientific method consists of three steps:

In Module 4 you’ll implement your own ant experiment and thereby become part of a global Citizen Science project!

Translating ants into numbers

Collecting data, working with data, analyzing data… But what actually is “data”? Data are numbers with context. Numbers that tell a story. Data can be visualized by graphs:

In Module 5 you’ll work with your own data and find out what story the ants you collected as part of the experiment you did in Module 4 are telling.