Exploring the World of Wildlife: 10 facts about the Ants | Ants what we know so far

Ants are one of the most highly organized insects on the planet. Their ability to cooperate and self-sacrifice for blessing of the colony, their high adaptability, their activity that is similar in complexity to a reasonable one — all this has long attracted the attention of scientists. And today, science knows numerous interesting facts about ants, some of which are known only to a narrow circle of specialists, and some refute established myths.

Despite their small size, they aren’t boring insects. Against, they are very interesting and today we will try to prove it.

Especially for you, we have prepared the most interesting facts about ants.

Fact number one.

The size of ants is from one to five millimeters, but there are also giants, for example, the species Camponotus gigas reaches a length of up to three centimeters. They communicate with help of pheromones. Thanks to chemicals, they can send simple messages to their colony members. With help of pheromones, the can warn of danger or report that food is found nearby.

Fact number two.

Ants are one of the oldest insects. They appeared about one hundred and thirty million years ago, at the beginning of the Cretaceous period. The oldest fossil ant species (now extinct) is Sphercormyrma freyi. The species was found in a piece of amber.

Fact number three.

Ants have super strength. They can carry objects, mass of which, ten to fifty times more their own weight. The strength of an ant directly depends on its species. For example, Oecophylla, aka ant-tailor, can carry objects a hundred times heavier than its own weight.

Fact number four.

Ants-soldiers very often use their heads to close entrance/exit of the anthill. In some species, soldiers have modified heads that are much larger than those of workers. Soldiers need such a head so that they close the passages of the anthill and protect it from unwanted visitors. After the worker ant returns to the nest, it touches the head of the soldier, who lets him into the anthill.

Fact number five.

Serfdom prospers in some species of ants. A sufficiently large number of species capture captive ants, forcing them to do the dirtiest work.

Fact number six.

The total mass of ants is equal to the total mass of people on the planet. How is this possible? The fact is that, according to preliminary count of scientists, for each person, on average, there are up to one and a half million of these insects. In total, there are about twelve thousand species that live in all corners of the globe, except for Antarctica. The largest number of ants live in the tropics.

Fact number seven.

Ants have two stomachs. And it isn’t because they are gluttonous. They are very social insects. An ant needs one stomach to digest its own food. In the second stomach, he stores food, which he can share with another member of his colony.

Fact number eight.

Ants have a caste system in which responsibilities are divided. The queen is the founder of the colony and her role is only to lay eggs. All worker ants, as in the case of bees, are female. They take care of the queen, the offspring, look for food, guard the colony and utilize of waste. The fate of the future queen depends only on how she will be fed in the larval stage. If the larva is given a lot of protein, then it will become a queen in the future. If the protein is given less, then it will become an ordinary worker ant.

Fact number nine.

The female mates only one time during “mating flight”, receiving the male’s sperm supply, which is gradually consumed throughout her life. After mating, the female looks for a suitable place to create a new anthill. Having found one, she bites off her wings and digs the first chamber of the future nest (or remains in her anthill), and then begins to lay eggs and take care of them. The queen feeds the larvae with a special salivary secretion and/or special “feed” eggs.

Fact number ten.

The life span of a female is twelve to twenty years. Working individuals live from several months to three years. And males have a short life – only a few.

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