Dr. Stefanie Kautz examines the unusual relationships acacia ants form with their host plant—the acacia tree. While some species are parasites, others protect the tree and are rewarded with shelter and extra food. This is the sixth installment in a series of video journals by Dr. Corrie Moreau and her team documenting their 2012 expedition to catalog and study ant diversity in Costa Rica's Guanacaste region.
During the trip, team members collected ant specimens, reared live ants on special diets, and took samples of several ant species that will be studied back home at The Field Museum. By learning more about the relationship between diet, anatomy, and species diversity, the team hopes to better understand the mechanisms of evolution that affect all life on Earth.
Be sure to check out Video Journal #7: “Bullet & Trap-jaw Ants” at vimeopro.com/fieldmuseum/expeditions-ants-diet-and-dna-detectives/video/95765128.
For more about Dr. Moreau's Costa Rican Expedition, please visit expeditions.fieldmuseum.org/test-child-expedition.
Want to learn more about Field Museum scientific expeditions around the world? Please visit expeditions.fieldmuseum.org/