The Ant Food Lab Biology Essay

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This is a very simple experiment conducted to find out the different types of ants visiting for different food types. To go ahead with the experiment I placed the food items in two different places and checked the number of ants and the different types of ants for every 15 minutes. I have used some graphs to depict the values.

Research Question: Which type of food, meat, sugar, bread and crushed leaves will attract red and black ants in concrete and shady regions?

Hypothesis: I assume that meat will attract red ants in shady and concrete conditions and sugar will attract black ants in concrete and shady conditions. In both the conditions, the meat will be attracting the most ants than the other foods. I expect sugar to attract to more ants than bread and crushed leaves. I expect less ants will be attracted for the crushed leaves.

Variables:

Independent -

Types of food like Meat, Crushed Leaves, Sugar and Bread.

Different Locations like in the outdoors on Concrete and under the shade.

Dependent- The number of ants

Controlled Variables:

Temperature- The temperature was constant as the experiment was conducted in a similar condition.

The quantity of food - The amount of meat, sugar, crushed leaves and bread used in the experiment was 1g each, which was weighed using digital balance.

The size of the Aluminum foil - The Aluminum foil cut into equal parts before place the food substances on it.

Materials Required

Meat (2g)

Sugar water (2g)

Bread (2g)

Crushed leaves (2g)

Digital Balance

Aluminum Foil

Procedure

Collect four types of food (meat, crushed leaves, sugar and bread)

Weigh them using Digital Balance (1g each)

Put each food item on a piece of aluminum foil.

Place them on a concrete surface under a light source.

Record the number of ants for every 15 minutes for an hour.

Repeat the experiment, by placing the food items in a shady condition in the outdoors.

Places where the experiment was conducted

In the outdoors, on the concrete.

In the outdoors, under a tree in shady condition.

RAW DATA

Trial 1

Table 1: The table below shows the data for two locations in which leaves were kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Leaves

(15 mins)

0

0

(15 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

0

(1:00 hour)

0

0

Table 2: The table below shows the data for two locations in which meat was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

1 gram of Meat

(15 mins)

0

8

(15 mins)

0

1

(30 mins)

0

29

(30 mins)

0

3

(45 mins)

0

61

(45 mins)

0

9

(60 mins)

0

90

(60 mins)

0

10

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

188

(1:00 hour)

0

23

Table 3:The table below shows the data for two locations in which Sugar was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Sugar

(15 mins)

0

0

(15 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

3

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

1

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

Total

(1:00 hour)

4

0

(1:00 hour)

0

0

Table 4: The table below shows the data for two locations in which bread was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Bread

(15 mins)

0

6

(15 mins)

8

0

(30 mins)

0

15

(30 mins)

0

20

(45 mins)

0

14

(45 mins)

0

26

(60 mins)

0

20

(60 mins)

0

28

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

55

(1:00 hour)

8

74

Trial 2

Table 5: The table below shows the data for two locations in which leaves were kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Leaves

(15 mins)

0

0

(15 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

0

0

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

0

(1:00 hour)

0

0

Table 6: The table below shows the data for two locations in which meat was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

1 gram of Meat

(15 mins)

0

12

(15 mins)

0

4

(30 mins)

0

31

(30 mins)

0

9

(45 mins)

0

56

(45 mins)

0

10

(60 mins)

0

84

(60 mins)

0

10

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

183

(1:00 hour)

0

33

Table 7: The table below shows the data for two locations in which Sugar was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Sugar

(15 mins)

0

0

(15 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

2

0

(30 mins)

0

0

(45 mins)

2

0

(45 mins)

0

0

(60 mins)

3

0

(60 mins)

0

0

Total

(1:00 hour)

7

0

(1:00 hour)

0

0

Table 8: The table below shows the data for two locations in which bread was kept as food.

Type of Food

In the outdoors, on the concrete

In the outdoors, shady condition. (under a tree)

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Time

Number of Black Ants

Number of Red Ants

Bread

(15 mins)

0

8

(15 mins)

0

0

(30 mins)

0

19

(30 mins)

0

25

(45 mins)

0

16

(45 mins)

4

30

(60 mins)

0

24

(60 mins)

0

34

Total

(1:00 hour)

0

67

(1:00 hour)

4

89

Processed Data

Table 9: This table shows the calculations for concrete condition

Food

Trial 1

Trial 2

Average

Standard Deviation (±)

Bread

55.00

67.00

61.00

6.00

Sugar

4.00

7.00

5.50

2.12

Meat

188.00

183.00

186.00

3.53

Leaves

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Table 10: This table shows the calculations for shady conditions

Food

Trial 1

Trial 2

Average

Standard Deviation (±)

Bread

82.00

93.00

87.50

7.77

Sugar

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Meat

23.00

33.00

28.00

7.07

Leaves

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Graph 1: This graph represents the results of the two trials conducted in the outdoors on concrete surface.

Graph 2: This graph represents the results of the two trials conducted in the outdoors, in the shade.

Graph 3: This graph represents the average values for the concrete condition

Graph 4: This graph represents the average values for the Shady condition

Discussion

There are mainly two types of ants, one is carnivorous and the other is herbivorous in my school. These are differentiated by their color, red and black respectively.

When the four food items were kept on the concrete surface, meat attracted the highest number of ants 188 and 183 in trial 1 respectively. All these Ants were carnivorous' ants. Bread also attracted carnivorous' ants in trial 1 it had 55 and 67 for trial 2. Sugar attracted a very few ants 4 and 7, in trial 1 and trial 2 respectively. These ants were herbivores. However, the crushed leaves failed to attract any type of ants. In graph 3, there were no ants seen in crushed leaves. In sugar, on an average 5.5 ants were attracted. For bread, on an average 6.1 ants were attracted. Highest ants were recorded in meat (186).

In the shady condition, the highest numbers of Ants were spotted on bread. All these ants were carnivorous. Trial 1 recorded a total of 82 ants and trial 2 recorded a total of 93 ants. In the shade, Sugar failed to attract any kind of ant. This is similar with crushed leaves, no ants were seen. The carnivorous ants were also found meat in the shady condition. Trial 1 recorded 23 ants and trial 2 recorded 33 ants. In graph 4, Sugar and crushed Leaves did not attract any ants. The meat attracted 28 ants; the highest ants were recorded in bread.

Evaluation

When the values were recorded, there was more time spent on recording the value of one location which caused a slight delay in recording the values for the next location. To overcome this, the experiments should be conducted separately. Another limitation is the count of ants, which was not to the exact value as some of them were inside the food item and a small movement will cause a disturbance to the ants. Therefore, to record the values accurately, the ants on the food particles can be captured counted and later released. The aluminium foil used as the base for food particles might have affected the number of visiting ants either due to the reflection of sun or difficulties in climbing the foil. The use of tissue paper will avoid the reflection of sun rays and stones could be kept on the four sides of the paper which not only lowers the height of the paper but also prevents the paper from flying away.

Conclusion

As assumed in the hypothesis, the red ants were attracted towards meat. As I assumed the black ants were attracted towards sugar in the concrete condition which is supported by the data. On an average in the concrete condition, meat attracted more ants followed by the bread, sugar. In both the conditions, crushed leaves did not attract any ants. This supports my Hypothesis that meat attracts more ants. In Shady condition, the bread attracted the highest ants (87.5) and meat attracted 28 ants. The sugar and crushed leaves were not attracted by the ants in the shady condition.