Tiny Collectors: Harvester Ants

Western harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis), a common species of ants throughout the American West, contribute to the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History paleontology and archaeology collections. These ants collect tiny fossils and artifacts, which scientists can then find in their nests.

Explore this website to learn more about the tiny objects displayed in the Harvester Ants vitrine in the BioLounge, and about harvester ants and their environment.

Thumbnail image of beads from Mimbres, New Mexico Thumbnail image of Cretaceous amber Thumbnail image of therian mammal tooth
Mimbres beads Cretaceous amber Mammal tooth
Thumbnail image of multituberculate mammal tooth Thumbnail image of baby hadrosaur tooth Thumbnail image of Troodon tooth
Mammal tooth Hadrosaur tooth Troodon tooth
Thumbnail image of Ricardoestesia tooth Thumbnail image of ray tooth Thumbnail image of Saurornitholestes
Ricardoestesia tooth Ray tooth Saurornitholestes tooth
Thumbnail image of fossil ant from Florissant Thumbnail image of ant-money seeds Thumbnail image of horned lizard
Fossil ant "Ant-money" seeds Horned lizard
Thumbnail image of harvester ant    
Harvester ant    

Tiny Collectors: Harvester Ants was designed, built, and installed by Museum and Field Studies (MFS) graduate students John Hankla (Paleontology), Suzanne White (Exhibits), Kristina Horton (Education), Heidi Buhr (Archives), Christina Spence (Paleontology and Botany), and Erin Baxter (Anthropology and Education), with the support and assistance of Charles Counter and Bill Moats of the Museum's Exhibits Department. MFS student Melissa Barton (Paleontology and Informatics) designed and wrote the website; Suzanne White illustrated the dinosaurs and other extinct animals.

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