The Double-Crossing Ants to Whom Friendship Means Nothing

I'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine—unless someone else comes along that is a better scratcher! Examine the fickle nature of rainforest insects using a captivating video. The narrator describes the mutualistic relationship between an ant species and a young tree struggling for sunlight. Mutualism is tested when a caterpillar with a tasty adaptation comes calling.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Add the video to an upcoming rainforest biome unit
  • Ask pupils to describe the relationships between the ant and the tree, the ant and the caterpillar, and the caterpillar and the tree
Classroom Considerations

  • Review the basic types of organism relationships so learners can identify the examples in the video
Pros

  • Resource shows the relationships close up, allowing students to see how the caterpillar's nectar tentacles work
  • The video serves as a great example of mutualism, as well as how quickly relationships within an ecosystem can change based on the needs of the organism
Cons

  • None
Common Core