June 2021

Bringing home the bacon

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Bringing home the bacon

While tracking lions their huge paw prints led over a trail of harvester ants returning to their nest. We watched them bringing back little bits of dry vegetation, and were extremely impressed when one heroic worker ant returned with this spectacular starburst of a seed!

Ants may play an important role in the dynamics of plant communities by acting either as seed dispersal agents or as seed predators, or both. During the day, these ants search the savannas for vegetation and plant seeds, and carry them along back to their nest. This food is stored in the nest in communal chambers called granaries. In addition, ants provide soil aeration through the creation of galleries and chambers, mix deep and upper layers of soil, and incorporate organic refuse into the soil.

Jenny Hishin
By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide