Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants

May 1st, 2011 1:10 am ET
“Ants” was previously on view at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y., presently at the National Museum of Natural History  in Washington, D.C.and will be on view now through Oct. 9. Then The hidden life of “Ants” is scheduled to open at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Fla., before this exhibition continues on its 15-city national tour through 2015.

A weaver ant worker (Oecophylla smaragdina) in Cambodia protects a herd of fat, red scale insects. Photo by Mark W. Moffett © National Geographic Magazine

A weaver ant worker (Oecophylla smaragdina) in Cambodia protects a herd of fat, red scale insects. Photo by Mark W. Moffett © National Geographic Magazine


Moffett’s macro photographs tell stories about the lives of ants … hunting, communicating, dealing with disease agriculture-and to chronicle the work of entomologists in the field. The exhibition features 39 large-scale color photographs, a three-dimensional aluminum cast of an ant nest and touchable oversized ant models.
Visitors can explore the model of a leaf-cutter worker ant that has been blown up to 50 times its actual size and learn how it uses its body to work and survive in the colony.
“What fascinated me most in preparing this exhibit is that modern humans can be much more like ants than we are like our relatives, the chimpanzees,” said curator Mark Moffett.
“With our societies of millions, only ants and humans deal with issues of public health and environmental safety, roadways and traffic control, assembly lines and teamwork, market economics and voting, slavery and mass warfare.”


Catherine Raveia
Smithsonian Museum Examiner
Previous/Next
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,