Take an Ant to Lunch!

What You Need:
  • A place where you see ants
  • Sugar, cheese or meat, lemon or lime, salt
  • A paper plate
  • A watch
  • Paper, pencil, markers
Question: What kinds of food do ants like?

1) First, find a place where you see ants and ant hills .

2) Then, put a food sample on a paper plate. Use foods that are sweet, fatty, sour, or salty.

3) Put each sample out one at a time.

4) Time the ants for fifteen minutes. Count and record the number of ants at each five minute interval.

5) Make a bar graph that shows the time and number of ants that respond to the food sample. Which food did the ants like the most?

6) Display your hungry, hungry ant bar graph on the fridge or in your room!

A Scientific Explanation:
An ant tastes food through receptors located in its antennae and mouth. This is what separates you from the ants. Ants don’t have taste receptors for aspertame, the artificial sweetener found in diet soda, but you do!

Have the ants take the soft drink challenge! Repeat the experiment with a diet soda and a regular soda. Think about it, why would an ant every go on a diet?


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