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Finding Genius Podcast

Mar 23, 2021

How do ants maintain a colony while not letting foreign bacteria or harmful chemicals develop? A complex internal microbiome is at work protecting the individuals and colony.

Tune in to learn:

  • How an ant can so effectively maintain an internal microbiome
  • If an ant can be just as effective in filtering particles as an expensive lab filter
  • How ants digest food and why they prefer certain types at specific times

Research scientist and part of the American Museum of Natural History, Michele Lanan, joins the podcast to discuss her research on ants and their complex microbiome.

Ants are a species that not only share food but regurgitate that food to spread it throughout the colony. This is an essential function of many of the colony's workers and crucial to the ant ecosystem alive and thriving.

The microbial community functioning inside of every ant lends itself to the delicate balance of the colony. It also gives a more extensive insight into the ecological role of insects as a whole. Michele Lanan continues to research entomology and forensics in ants.

To learn more, search online for the Southwestern Research Station at the American Museum of Natural History.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: