FUNGUS FARMERS A CITY OF

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2 yle Butt Have you ever stopped to think about all the nurses for the new eggs that the queen lays. n fact, things that it takes for a city to operate? or in- the queen stops doing everything but laying eggs. stance, suppose that in your town or city there was Her job gets pretty tough because sometimes she no place to take your garbage. oon, the garbage can lay up to 30,000 eggs in one day. would pile up in the rooms of your house and in all s thousands of ants the houses on your street. start to hatch, they take he houses and streets on many different jobs. would be so full of garome ants become the bage that you would not nurses that take care of be able to live there anythe eggs. ther leaf cutmore. nd, think about ter ants become soldier all the things that are necants that protect the nest essary to get enough food from predators. ome of to the people in a town the ants become foragers or city. hat if no farmthat go outside the nest ers grew food, or no truck and bring back leaves drivers delivered food to and plants. nd another grocery stores, or no grogroup of ants tend to the cery stores even existed? garden. ou can see that there are he fungus that the ants farm, pictured above, grows much like a hat s right. many people needed to mushroom. his fungus is essential for the life of the leaf cutter ants. he leaf cutter operate a city. mage courtesy of Brad iero ants have a garid you know that there is a kind of ant that den where they builds an amazing city of its own? t grow their own is called the leaf cutter ant. hen a food. Here is how leaf cutter ant colony is started, a it works. eaf cutter queen flies to a place to build a ants build a huge nest unnest. he soon loses her wings derground. his nest can be over and becomes a mother by layten feet deep and over 40 feet wide, ing thousands of eggs that she with various smaller nests attached to takes care of. hen they it. n fact, some leaf cutter nests can hatch, they become the o build their gardens, the leaf cutter ants search the countryside for leaves, flower petals, and plants. hen they find the leaves they want, they leave a special scent, called a pheromone, which marks the trail. hen they use their amazingly sharp jaws that can vibrate as fast as 1,000 times per second, to cut the leaves into oval shapes. he special forager ants carry the leaves back to the nest. his is not as easy as it sounds. hese little worker ants can carry weights that are over 20 times as heavy as they are. hat would be like a 100 pound sixth-grader lifting a 2,000 pound young elephant over his head. hey are really strong. he large ant in the middle of this picture is the queen of the colony. he spends almost all her time laying eggs. n some cases, queen leaf cutter ants can lay 30,000 eggs in one day. mage courtesy of calacadamy.org C take up over 3,000 square feet. hat is twice as large as the average merican house! nside the nest, a colony of several million ants can live. hese millions of ants build hundreds of rooms. he rooms have many different purposes. ome of the rooms are for hatching new baby ants. ther rooms are for removing and storing waste. n fact, some ants are the garbage men that stay in the waste rooms and turn the garbage over and over so it will rot away more quickly. But some of the most important rooms are the rooms where the ants keep their gardens. hen the ants get the leaves back to the nests, the leaves are licked clean of any bacteria that may be harmful, chewed up, and then deposited in a garden room. n this room, a special fungus is placed on the leaves. his special fungus is used to feed the ant colony. he gardener ants tend the fungus and make sure it is growing properly, and they protect it from harmful bacteria that could kill it. his relationship between the fungus and the ant is called a symbiotic relationship, because both the ant and the fungus benefit from it. single colony of leaf cutter ants can thrive for 15 years, as long as the queen lives. he interesting and exciting thing about leaf cutter ants is that they disprove evolution in many ways. irst, without all the different kinds of ants to do the different jobs, the colony would not survive. But how would colonies have lived while they were trying to evolve ants like the soldier ants or the nurse ants? econd, the fungus does not seem to grow anywhere but in a leaf cutter colony, and it needs the ants to live just like the ants need it to live. o, if the ants evolved first, how would they have lived until the fungus evolved? r if the fungus evolved first, how would it have lived without the ants? n truth, the ants and the fungus were specifically designed by od to live together and supply each other s need. hat an amazing insect. nd what an amazing Creator! mage courtesy of calacadamy.org 34 35

3 o to the ou! ric yons luggard? hat is a sluggard? nd what do ants and sluggards have to do with me? sluggard is one who is in the habit of being lazy. ust as you may have good habits like taking out the trash for your parents, washing the dishes after supper, or making your bed, a sluggard is a person in the habit simply of being lazy. He doesn t want to work, make good use of his time, or be productive. ather, he lies around day after day (sleeping or watching ) wasting away his life. e sometimes call such a person a couch potato. ome kids think that it is cool to be lazy and not work or study hard, but laziness is no laughing matter. ust as od condemns wicked things such as murder, adultery, and using filthy words, He also has much to say about the sin of laziness (read atthew 25:26 and 1 imothy 5:8). emember, whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the ord and not to men, knowing that from the ord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the ord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). he wise man wrote in the book of Proverbs: o to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest (6:6-8). nts are determined workers. t is their nature to work and to work hard. he summer heat does not stop the ant from storing up food for the winter. f one tears down its hill, it will build another one. f its storage of food is taken, it will acquire more. nts are steadfast in their work efforts. side from killing the ant, there likely is nothing you can do to stop it from working and preparing for the winter months (when food is scarce). hat s more, they do not need a parent, a teacher, or a ruler to watch over them and constantly say, et to work. H Brad Harrub fter playing flag football in the backyard with all his friends, teven was extremely hungry. hen he walked into the kitchen his mom asked him if he would like to go grab his favorite food pizza! However, when they arrived at the restaurant, teven was not content to just sit down and eat a few slices of pizza. nstead, he walked right up to the Pizza hack building, strapped a belt around it, and then hoisted the entire building onto his back. or a few steps he was wobbly and looked like he might fall under all that tremendous weight, but eventually he got into a rhythm and walked two miles back to his house with the Pizza hack on his back! ound crazy? efinitely especially when you consider that Hossein ezazadeh set a new world record at the 2004 lympics and won a gold medal for lifting only 580 pounds. e know that there is a limit to how much a human can lift without suffering from something like a heart attack. nd yet, if Hossein were as strong as an ant, he could very well have lifted 10,000 pounds over his head! hat s right, researchers have documented forest ants carrying times their body weight. t is not uncommon for ants to walk several feet carrying times their body weight. (ow if that distance does not impress you, remember that it would take several steps for a small ant just to cover the distance of one foot.) hen the load is too large for the ant to carry on its back, oftentimes it will move the object by dragging it backwards. f that still doesn t work, then the ant will solicit help from other ants which then work together as a team. nts did not evolve this amazing ability to carry heavy weights and work in teams rather they are a special creation of od. cientists believe that ants may be the most numerous type of animal on arth. he next time you strap on that heavy backpack and head off to school, remember one of od s incredible creatures the mighty ant! re you like the ant, which works tirelessly today that it may be prepared for future months when food is scarce? r, do your parents and teachers have to remind you frequently to get to work? 36 37

4 hope that you are enjoying this issue of iscovery magazine. am honored to be a part of the team at pologetics Press that produces iscovery every month. hope you like it. or years have been working with my friends at pologetics Press answering questions from young people (like you) all over the world. e have covered a variety of topics during this time from Bible characters like oah and avid to animals like dinosaurs and komodo dragons. m pleased to announce a new children s program that we are now producing called igger oug s nderground. y friends guana on, Professor hitecoat, ing-long ycamore, and illy the ord orm have been helping me behind the scenes (and in front of the camera) produce a variety of episodes about od, His ord, and His amazing creation. n a way, we are simply taking many things we discuss in iscovery and bringing them to life. ou can watch igger oug s nderground throughout the week on the ospel Broadcasting etwork ( or you can ask your mom or dad to purchase the dvds from us by calling he first two episodes are now available for $ pisode hat bout the Big Bang? pisode fter heir ind 38 m u lti p le c h o i c e o lve, f i n d, a n d c i r c le Hello ids, 1. eaf cutter ants that protect the nest from predators. 1. nts that have a garden where they grow their own food. 2. person who is in the habit of being lazy. 3. he book of the Bible in which we read about ants. 4. mammal that can weigh up to seventy pounds and lives by eating ants and termites. 5. eaf cutter ants that take care of the queen s eggs. 6. nteaters not only eat ants, but also this insect. 7. esearchers have documented these kinds of ants carrying times their own body weight. 4. esearchers have documented these creatures carrying times their body weight.. urses B. oldier ants. lephants B. nails C. oragers. ardeners C. Horses. nts 2. nteaters were created by od on which day of creation? 5. word that describes the beneficial relationship between ants and their fungus.. econd B. hird. ymbiotic B. ngagement C. ixth. one of the above C. arriage. ndependent 3. he Bible says, hatever you do, do it, as to the ord and not to men.. lothfully B. azily C. Heartily (with all your heart). Half-heartedly 8. special scent that leaf cutter ants use to mark their trail. r u e o r a ls e P H P C C B 1. od made ants to be very strong for their size. 2. nts are very hard workers. 3. aziness is no laughing matter. 4. nteaters are reptiles. 5. od sometimes referred to animals in the Bible to teach humans lessons. 6. nteaters only eat ants. 7. cientists believe that ants may be the most numerous type of animal on the arth. 1. ive two reasons why leaf cutter ants disprove evolution. 8. nteaters only need to eat about 20 ants per day to survive. 2. hat did the Proverbs writer say we can learn from ants? P H PP 39

5 stick out your tongue! dave miller he iant nteater is another marvelous proof of the ivine esigner. he iant nteater is a mammal that grows to about four feet long (not counting the tail) and two feet high at the shoulder, and weighs about 70 pounds. t walks with its front feet turned on their sides to protect his claws. t has a long, thin head, a large, bushy tail, and lives mostly in the tropical, humid forests of outh and Central merica, in low swampy savannas and along riverbanks. od made the anteater s color pattern to add to his camouflage. he position that a baby anteater takes while riding on its mother s back causes the baby s stripe to match up with the stripe on the mother, making the little one almost invisible. he iant nteater s long, tubular muzzle-mouth is very small barely big enough for a pencil! But it was specially designed that way by od to house its very long tongue (extending up to 24 inches) so that it can eat ants and termites. he anteater rips open their concrete-hard mounds with his powerful sharp front claws. s the insects swarm forth from their mound, it flicks his tongue in and out at the incredible rate of 150 or more times a minute! ince its tongue is heavily coated with thick, sticky saliva, the anteater draws ants into its mouth and then stiffens the backward-pointing papillae (projections) on its tongue into spines to mash them against the hard roof of its mouth. nteaters eat about 30,000 ants per day. mazingly, their sense of smell allows them to identify the species of ants or termites before the nest is ripped open. nteaters only spend a couple of minutes feeding at any one nest, removing only a few thousand insects at one feeding. hey circulate around their area, feeding lightly here and there, never destroying any one nest. hy? od made it so that they never deplete their food base. he iant nteater is another example of the deliberate design that od built into His Creation. Cover Photo: ohd osley mar -,, CC: 1-leafcutter; 2-sluggard; 3-Proverbs; 4-anteater; 5-nurses; 6-termite; 7-forest; 8-pheromone. P CHC: 1-B (oldier ants); 2-C (ixth); 3-C (Heartily); 4- (nts); 5- (ymbiotic). : 1-; 2-; 3-; 4-; 5-; 6-; 7-;