Episode 39: Why Would You Want to Follow a Column of Army Ants?

Meet the Expert: Doug Wechsler, Biologist and Author

Doug Wechsler takes his inspiration from the jungles, swamps and seashores of the world as well as from his own backyard. By showing the wonders of nature and its humorous side he hopes to motivate his readers to deepen their interest in their natural surroundings.

He currently freelances as an author, and photographer working on stories about nature. He also teaches ornithology (to homeschoolers) and close-up photography. Recently he worked as a host at bird reserves in southern Ecuador.

Doug ran the world’s most comprehensive collection of bird photographs at the Academy of Natural Sciences for 28 years. His work as a photographer has taken him on expeditions to Borneo, Ecuador, Cuba, Panama, Cameroon, Alaska, and the Philippines.

He is the author of 23 books including The Hidden Life of a Toad (2017), Marvels in the Muck: Life in the Salt Marshes and Frog Heaven: Life in a Vernal Pool.

To learn more about Doug, please visit his website HERE


Army ant carrying larvae

army ant carrying army ant larva during emigration

Army ant soldier









Army Ant Raid Movement

Army Ant Emigration


Photographer in a tree taking a picture of an army ant group

Doug photographing statary bivouac in hollow tree














Go outside and pretend you are an Army ant. See how many different insects you can find. Make a sketch of what you find or take a picture of it.

With your parents permission, send us your sketch or picture by  leaving a comment below OR share with us on our Twitter , Instagram or Facebook page.


Highlighted book  for this episode

The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler (Charlesbridge Publishing)

In jaw-dropping photos, Doug Wechsler captures the life cycle of the American toad from egg to tadpole to adult. To get these images, Wechsler sat in a pond wearing waders, went out night after night in search of toads, and cut his own glass to make a home aquarium. The resulting photos reveal metamorphosis in extreme close-up as readers have never seen it before.


Book List:

Green Ants vs. Army Ants (Who Would Win?) by Jerry Pallotta (Author), Rob Bolster (Illustrator)

Army Ants (Bad to the Bone: Nastiest Animals) by Marie Roesser

Africanized Honeybee vs. Army Ant (Bizarre Beast Battles) by Therese Shea


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