Discussion Questions: Ancient Farmers of the Amazon
How did one cantankerous graduate student's insight and persistence expand scientific understanding of leafcutter ant biology? Diagram and discuss the selective pressure acting on all members of the leafcutter ant coevolutionary group: plants, ants, cultivated fungus, parasitic mold, antibiotic-producing bacteria. How does the relationship between leafcutter ants and their antibiotic-producing bacteria differ from the use of antibiotics in medicine by humans? How and why might that difference be vitally important?