Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crawly Experiment for Kids

It's easy to see which ants have been sipping which coloured sugar water drops thanks to their transparent abdomens. Father of three Mohamed Babu set up these photographs after his wife, Shameem, showed him some ants that had turned white after sipping on some spilt milk. Dr Babu mixed sugar water with edible colours red, green, blue and yellow and placed them in his garden to attract the insects. He discovered the ants preferred lighter colours such as yellow and green...
Photo Source: The Telegraph

I ran across this photo at The Telegraph and was inspired to do a little experiment with my little guy.  Those look like huge colorful globs, but they're really just colored sugar water drops on a paper plate.  (We used red, yellow, green and purple.)

We didn't have this many ants, which was bad for the experiment but good for our backyard.  The original text with this photo said they found the ants preferred yellow and green.  Ours seemed to go for the red, but really they tended to just go for whichever color they came upon first.  We watched for a long time to be sure.

Also, I didn't think the little solid black ants in our yard would look like those in this photo.  However, after they drank for awhile, they did get big ol' bellies that went transparent like in the photo above, and you could easily see the different colors in them depending upon which drop they were drinking from!

While I'm not normally crazy about ants, the little guy and I had a lot of fun with this experiment, and he talked about it a lot.

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