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40 Amazing and Little-Known Facts About Ants | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Amazingly ants species are as old as the dinosaurs , about 110 to 130 million years old.
  2. Ants survived the catastrophic event that destroyed dinosaurs.
  3. More than 20,000 known ant species occur around the world, yet only 12,500 have so far been classified.
  4. Ants rule the planet. Amazingly there are at least ten thousand trillion ants in the world.
  5. Ants are found in northern Finland and also in the sweltering tropics.The total biomass of all the ants on Earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the people on Earth.
  6. Rough estimation is that there are about 1.5 million ants on the planet for every human being.
  7. On average, ants monopolize 15 to 20% of the terrestrial animal biomass, and in tropical regions where ants are especially abundant, they monopolize 25% or more.
  8. Ants are social insects which form colonies that range in size from a few dozen individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of members.
  9. There are also amazing  super colonies around the world that can contain millions of individuals.
  10. Super colonies have been identified in Japan, Australia, the United States, and southern Europe.
  11. The largest colony known of these insects is in Japan, where 306 million ants, with 1 million queens, live in 45,000 colonies spread over 270 hectares.
  12. Ant communities are headed by a queen or queens, whose function in life is to lay thousands of eggs that will ensure the survival of the colony. Queen ants have wings, which they only shed when they start a new nest.
  13. The queen licks the eggs to make them hatch. The queen feeds her eggs her own saliva.
  14. Workers that we commonly see are wingless females that never reproduce, but instead forage for food, care for the queen’s offspring, work on the nest, protect the community.
  15. Male ants often have only one role , mating with the queen. After they have performed this function, they may die.
  16. Amazing fact is that at night the worker ants move the eggs and larvae deep into the nest to protect them from the cold. During the daytime, the worker ants move them to the top of the nest where it is warmer.
  17. In certain ant species , soldier ants use their heads to plug the entrances to their nests and keep intruders from gaining access. They have amazingly modified heads to match the nest entrance. They block access with their head like a cork in a bottle. When a worker ant returns to the nest, it will touch the soldier ant’s head to let the guard know it belongs to the colony.
  18. Army ants may prey on much larger animals such as reptiles, birds, or even small mammals. Army Ants are always moving. They carry their larvae and their eggs with them in a long column.
  19. It’s amazing that one species of ant is exclusively female. We are yet to find a male of the species M. smithii. The queen ant reproduces asexually, so all offspring are clones of the queen. It is found in several countries of Central America and most countries of South America.
  20. When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced and the workers are not able to reproduce.
  21. The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.
  22. Adult ants amazingly can’t chew and swallow solid food. Instead they swallow the juice which they squeeze from pieces of food. They throw away the dry part.
  23. Ants have two stomachs one for them and one to feed others.
  24. An ant’s sense of smell is amazingly as good as that of the dog.
  25. They don’t have ears. Special sensors on their feet and on their knees help ants interpret signals from their surroundings. They also use their antennae and the hairs on their body to feel around while foraging for food.
  26. Amazing fact is that ant never sleeps.
  27. Ant doesn’t have lungs.
  28. An ant’s brain weighs only .3 milligrams however the ant’s brain is a higher percentage of its body mass than any other living animal or insect.
  29. An Ant’s brain is whopping 6 percent of body weight. (A human brain is about 2 %) .
  30. An ant brain has about 250 000 brain cells.
  31. Ants can pull about 30 times their own weight.
  32. Ants can lift about 50 times it’s own body weight of 500 mg with it’s strong jaws.
  33. An ant can survive for up to two weeks underwater.
  34. When ants find food, they lay down a chemical trail, called a pheromone, so that other ants can find their way from the nest to the food source. The foraging ants then follow the path, each one adding more scent to the trail to reinforce it for others. The workers will continue walking back and forth along the line until the food source is depleted.
  35. Some species practice slavery . They are known to raid neighboring colonies and steal eggs or larvae in a practice known as “dulosis”. The forcibly acquired young are then either eaten or put to work.
  36. Tropical ants, when a flood sweeps down on them, amazingly roll themselves into a huge living ball which drifts upon the water, with the young safe and dry at the core.
  37. Camponotus Saundersi , a species of ant carry sacks of sticky poison all around their body that self-destructs as a defense mechanism to scare away predators.
  38. Wood ant workers live seven to ten years. Wood ants make anthills out of twigs, leaves and soil. Wood ants squirt acid from the end of their abdomens.
  39. Amazingly ants have graveyards. Two days after an ant dies, it gives off an odor that lets the other ants know it is dead. The ants then pick it up and carry it to a graveyard. The odor is due to oleic acid.
  40. In an experiment , scientists dropped some on a living ant, and against  it’s will it was carried to the designated graveyard.  Amazingly the ant was clearly alive but the others were ignoring its squirming and attempts to escape.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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