Ants are one of the smallest creatures on Earth, but their lives are fascinating to all who study them, and the Stauth Museum's newest exhibit; "Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants" is all about the life of ants we don't see. It will be a great way for southwest Kansas to find out more about this interesting insect.
"It's a really cool exhibit," Kim Legleiter, director of the Stauth Museum said. "We have a bunch of different things to help make things come alive for visitors."
One of the most unique pieces of the show is a model of an ant blown up to 500 times its size, so visitors can get an up close look at an ant.
"It's definitely a unique view," Legleiter said. "And kids can see and touch and feel the different parts of an ant."
There are also many large format photos, taken by Mark W. Moffett, of ants in their habitat, which is usually hidden from human view.
According to a press release from the Stauth Museum, Moffett's photos tell incredible stories about the lives of ants— hunting, communicating, dealing with disease and agriculture— and chronicle the world of entomologists in the field.
There is also an abundance of information on how different ants communicate, work together and find ways to survive.
"Different ant colonies have different ways of getting things done," Legleiter said. "Sometimes one colony will even make slaves of another colony and make them do their work."
Soon, Legleiter hopes to have some live ant farms to display as well, allowing visitors the opportunity to see first hand how ants work together.
"The ant farms were supposed to be here when the exhibit opened," Legleiter said, "but because the weather has been so drastically different day-to-day out here, they haven't been able to ship them yet."
Even without the live ants at the museum there's still plenty of information and detailed photos for visitors to enjoy.
"This is a very interesting and informative exhibit," Legleiter said. "I think both children and adults will learn something from coming out here. And even younger children, who are too young to read some of the information will still learn and enjoy the photos and models we have here."
The Stauth Museum is one of just 15 locations, and the only one in Kansas, to host this traveling exhibit, which was created by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
"I really encourage anyone who's interested to come see this exhibit while they have the chance," Legleiter said. "There probably won't be another one for awhile."
"Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants" is currently on display and will run through July 7. The Stauth Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. The museum also asks that if you are planning to visit with a group of five or more, to please call in advance to schedule a tour at (620) 846-2527.
Page 2 of 2 - "Anyone who enjoys nature and environmental shows on National Geographic will enjoy this show," Legleiter said. "Especially the photos which just have the most amazing colors and incredible details."