The Ants Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bert Hölldobler
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What type of hierarchy does Wilson use to describe an ant colony?

2. How many times their own body weight do Idaho harvester ants retrieve during their lifetime?

3. Which of the following scientists pointed out that colonies of social insects tend to be more harmonious when the members are all closely related?

4. Which of the following are used by worker ants to stimulate new larvae growth?

5. What percentage of ant colonies are lost due to ground-feeding birds?

Short Essay Questions

1. What claim of colony odor did scientists Jaffe and Sanchez make in 1984?

2. What defense mechanism is unique to the Asian ant species known as Camponotus Saundersi?

3. Why are caste systems often used within ant colonies?

4. What realization did scientists make about the Myrmica ants ability to differentiate larvae from eggs?

5. How has the rearing of isolated ant larvae affected scientists' understanding of reductionism?

6. What are barrack nests?

7. What is the most common form of communication between ants, and how is it expressed?

8. What happens during the ergonomic stage of an ant colony?

9. How does Wilson argue the Paleozoic Era changed insects?

10. How have leafcutter ants altered the landscape in which they live?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The role of the queen within an ant society is one that Wilson demands much focus on throughout the text. Explain the role of the queen in starting an ant colony. What role does the queen play in decision-making for the colony as a whole? Finally, explain how the role of the queen changes as the society becomes more successful, and which members of the colony take over the decision-making process.

Essay Topic 2

Leafcutter ants are among one of the most interesting and well studies species of ants in the world. Describe what characteristics make a leafcutter ant unique. Summarize at least one major study of leafcutter ants that was presented in the text. Finally, explain how an ant garden functions. How gardens affect the lives of leafcutter ants.

Essay Topic 3

There is a long process involved with identifying ant species throughout the world. Explain the steps to proper identification of a new ant species. Explain why it is so difficult for scientists to identify new ant species. How many ant species are believed to be unidentified throughout the scientific world?

(see the answer keys)

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