Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ants -- Not the Ones Married to Your Uncles

I received a book for Christmas that had a bunch of gifts in it -- I got to pick one. It was not easy to decide, but I ended up choosing to order an ant farm and before you know it, I was complaining how long the ants took to get here. It took about four or five months for them to get here. (?!)

I poured them in after putting them in the refrigerator (following the directions), and was sad to find a bunch of them had died. Now only four are alive, and we are thinking of getting a new ant farm and some new ants. I fed them bread, but they put the bread where they put their dead. I found out later that they suck out all the liquid from food and then spit the dry stuff out. I will feed them fruit on the next feeding day on the schedule.

Then I noticed that one of the four ants was staying down with the dead, while the others looked for food and exits from the ant farm. It is pretty neat to watch them, and I don't think they will dig tunnels for a while. (I think they have post-traumatic depression.)

Anyway, just to tell you about ants, they have two stomachs. One is called the crop, which is the stomach they can store food in and then share after regurgitating. The other is their social stomach, which is the one that digests food. The ant's heart is also where the stomachs are. the stomachs are located in the abdomen. The abdomen is the back of the ant (if you know what I mean).

The thorax is located between the head and abdomen. The ant's eyes are sort of like holding two toilet-paper rolls (empty) to your eyes, like binoculars. This type of eyes are called "fixed eyes."

Their antennae are how they touch, taste, and smell. They use them to smell food, friends and enemies. They use them to clean each other and themselves. They use them to taste food before chewing.

The little things that you see poking towards the ground out of their head are mandibles. They are sort of like tongs. The maxillae are things you can't see, and they are like teeth. Did you know that you have a mandible and a maxilla? Your mandible is the lower jawbone and the maxilla is the upper jaw bone.

I hope you enjoyed the ant facts!

All ants aside, here is a picture of my chest. My mom took this picture today. One of my mom's ebay friends said that I probably won't have much of a scar and that she would need to buy me a motorcycle. I don't know if that is a good idea, because I am not that great of a bike rider -- high speed, at least. My mom thinks it is definitely not a good idea, but she thought that was pretty funny. I don't get it. My mom said I would understand when I'm older.

I'm dying to pull off all of these strips. The ones on the defibrillator scar I don't want to mess with. The scar seems un-healed and the strips seem pretty stuck (think of pulling off chest hair with tape; I think it would feel worse than that).



  1. Thanks for telling us about the Ants! I hope the ant farm works out for you - what a fun project! You look like you are healing really well, Malkolm! Andrew got your letter and he was so very excited! I think your Mom already told you about it :) We are going to see if we can catch you on TV tomorrow morning! Take care sweetie - and listen to your Mom!

  2. "I fed them bread... they suck out all the liquid from food and then spit the dry stuff out".

    Like breadcrumbs?

    Hmmm, if i was one of your sisters I'd be very suspicious if you offered me a breaded chicken patty in the next day or two. I'd definitely want to know where that bread had been...

    Looks like you're healing up fast. Great!

  3. Malkolm, I love reading anything your write. What a gift you have.

    You look like you're healing up so nicely. I bet your mom's eBay friend is right about the scar. My husband had surgery a little over a year ago and his has faded quite a bit. You have an extra cool scar he doesn't have--the defibrillator one. You will always have a good conversation piece with all that work you had done. You're still in my prayers.