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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

The Evolution of Agriculture in Ants

In this video, entomologist Dr. Ted Schultz shares the evolutionary history of farming in ants.

Description: 

Meet Dr. Ted Schultz, an entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Learn about the creatures that are responsible for processing more vegetation than any animal on earth, the leaf-cutter ants. Take a journey with Ted to meet the leaf-cutters in his laboratory and witness their remarkable farming abilities. Think about how their agricultural systems compare to ours. Find out more about how entomologists like Ted are piecing together the evolutionary history of farming in ants. This show aired December 10, 2015.

Entomology

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National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Life Science

MS-LS1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS1-4Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.

MS-LS2

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-1Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS4

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • MS-LS4-2Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
  • MS-LS4-4Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

MS-LS1, MS-LS2, MS-LS4
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