The Living Desert
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The Ant Lab

Ant colonies are usually hidden, but The Living Desert pulls back the curtain on ant life at our NEW Ant Lab! Our colony of long-legged desert ants is completely exposed! Ants are very busy individuals and in this fascinating exhibit, you can watch 10,000 ants do the following:

  • build tunnels
  • care for their eggs, larvae and pupae
  • dismember their insect prey and carry it back to the burrow
  • clean house
  • take out the trash

Did you know that almost every ant that you see is female? Males are only produced for brief period when establishing a new colony. The queen can live for decades, her worker daughters for months, and her sons for days. Come see what an all female world looks like at The Living Desert’s Ant Lab! Is it cooperation and peace or mayhem and destruction? You decide!

Scientists are fascinated by how a group of 10,000 individuals can organize themselves so efficiently. Learn about the social life of ants as you watch the queen ant lay eggs; the young worker ants care for the eggs, larva and pupae; the middle aged ants do the house work and take out the trash; and the old worker ants forage on the surface for seeds or scavenge for dead or nearly dead insect prey.

The popular belief is that earthworms turn the world’s soil. This is not the case for desert soils. Ants are the engineers of desert soils. These are only a few of the fascinating facts you’ll find at The Living Desert’s NEW Ant Lab! The Ant Lab is located at the NEW Discovery Center and is open during regular park hours.

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