Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants is an internationally acclaimed photo exhibition of 39 captivating, large-format images by renowned photographer Mark W. Moffet. It will be on view at the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) from July 26, 2013 until January 5, 2014. The CMN is the first Canadian venue for this exhibition, which has been touring since its 2009 début in Washington, D.C.
Moffet’s superb photos, shot with a macro lens, show ants hunting, communicating, dealing with disease and managing agriculture. The National Geographic Society has called Moffet “the Indiana Jones of entomology.” Close to 500 of Moffet’s photographs have been published in National Geographic magazine and he has authored several books and articles over the years.
Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
Fun Facts About Ants
Like a single cell in our brain, each individual worker ant performs basic tasks based on limited information. In this species, the combined actions of thousands of simple workers give rise to the structure and “intelligence” of a raiding swarm.
Most ant species build their nests underground. Long, narrow tunnels connect the flat, roundish chambers where the queen lives, young are raised, and food may be stored.
Ever see a trail of ants? That’s the work of pheromones. The workers in larger ant societies commonly lay down a trail of pheromones marking the path between food and home. With enough traffic, these trails sometimes develop into more durable systems, much like our highways
Ant colonies, whether large or small, are extended families, with one or several mothers (the queens) and many sisters (workers and soldiers). Males are few and short-lived; they die soon after leaving the nest to mate with a virgin queen from another nest. This queen will then start her own colony.
Friend or Foe
Ants from the same nest smell alike. Whenever ants meet, they sweep their antennae over each other to identify one another. If their scents are unfamiliar, the workers will either run away or go on the attack.
Always on the march, army ants have no permanent nest. Instead they make temporary encampments for their roaming armies of up to 700,000 workers. They link their bodies together into chains and walls. The queen and her immature young are protected deep within.
Human societies may send their young men to war, but weaver ants rely on the oldest members of their all-female society—their old ladies—to defend their territory.
Win Your Way In with a Family Pass!
Want to see this exhibit up close and personal? Enter below for your chance to win a family pass for four!
A winner will be chosen on Monday, August 5!