Ants are one of the most common pests found in both residential and commercial environments. Over 10,000 recognized ant species are found worldwide, and entomologists and scientists are constantly studying them.
Interesting Ants Facts
Ants are extremely interesting animals. Here are some fascinating facts about ants that will change your mind!
1. Colonies are much larger than the typical ant farm
Ant colonies come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Only a few species live in colonies of a few dozen ants, but the typical ant colony has thousands of ants. Larger colonies build massive nests and forage for resources and food, while smaller colonies live in natural crevices or openings.
There are also super colonies all over the world with populations of more than 300 million individuals. Japan, Australia, the United States, and southern Europe have all been described as having supercolonies.
2. Ants have amazing strength
Strength is one of the major facts about ants. Ants have tremendous strength, they can hold anywhere from 10 to 50 times their own bodyweight! The amount of food an ant can carry varies by species. For example, the Asian weaver ant can lift 100 times its own weight. Believe it or not, their immense strength is due to their diminutive size.
According to Arizona State University, ants’ muscles have a larger cross-sectional area relative to their body size than larger animals because of their small size. This means they’ll be able to exert more force.
3. Ants have distinct roles to play
Ants are highly social insects, and each colony’s jobs are divided among different types of ants. The only duty of the queen or queens is to lay eggs. The other female ants are workers, feeding the larvae, collecting garbage from the colony, foraging food and supplies, or protecting the nest. The only aim of male ants is to mate with the queen. This organized and disciplined nature can be noted as interesting facts about ants.
4. Ants can transform into zombies
The strangest ant reality is that there is a form of fungus that infects ants and takes over their bodies. The fungus infiltrates the ant’s exoskeleton and starts to feed on soft tissue. It causes the ant to leave its colony shortly after, by unknown mechanisms. The ant then seeks out a leaf and dies by biting it with a “death grip.”
The fungus releases a spore a few days later, infecting more ants. Some ant species have learned to identify infected colony mates and transport them far away to protect the rest of the colony. How they deal with this problem is also the intelligent facts about ants.
5. Ants don’t have ears
Ants, unlike other pests like mice, do not have ears. However, this does not suggest that they are deaf. Ants use vibrations to hear, and they use them to forage for food or to signal danger. Ants hear by picking up vibrations in the ground through their subgenual organ situated below the knee.
6. Ants are farmers
Doesn’t seem right, but this is one of the most amazing facts about ants, the only species that can farm other creatures apart from humans. Ants can raise other insects in the same way that we raise cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and fish to obtain a food supply.
Aphids are the most common occurrence of this issue. To obtain a constant supply of honeydew, ants can shield aphids from natural predators and shelter them in their nests from heavy rain showers.
7. There are lots of ants in the world
One of the mind-boggling facts about ants is there are approximately 1 million ants for every person in the world! Ants have practically dominated the entire globe. With the exception of Antarctica, the Arctic, and a few isolated islands, every continent has at least one native ant species. Ants are “arguably the biggest success story in the evolution of terrestrial metazoa,” according to entomologist Ted Schultz.
8. Some ants have nowhere to live
Nests aren’t built by all ant species. Army ants are around 200 species that go through two stages of life: nomad and stationery. During the colony’s nomad process, the ants move all day, attacking other colonies and insects for food. They establish a temporary nest at night and continue to push the next morning.
Only during the stationary period, when the queen lays eggs, and the colony waits for them to hatch, they come to a stop. To protect the queen, the food, and the larvae, the worker ants build a nest out of their own bodies during this period.
9. Ants are capable of swimming
The ability to swim is not shared by all ants; it varies by species. They haven’t mastered the butterfly or breaststroke yet, but they can float for long periods and survive in water by using their own version of the doggy paddle.
Simply put, ants are incredible survivors. They will not only hold their breath for long periods underwater, but they can also develop lifeboats to help them survive floods. When fire ants do this, it can be particularly dangerous.
10. Ants are as old as dinosaurs
According to a study conducted by Harvard and Florida State Universities, ants first appeared 130 million years ago during the Cretaceous period! They also survived the ice age and the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T extinction) that wiped out the dinosaurs. This list of facts about ants is unfolding some unknown and unheard mystery.
11. Ants have 2 stomachs
Yes, ants have two stomachs, and it’s not because they’re greedy. One stomach is for storing food for personal consumption, while the other is for storing food to be shared with other ants. Trophallaxis is a mechanism that enables an ant colony to function extremely efficiently. It helps forager ants feed those who remain behind to tend to the queen’s and nest’s needs.
These facts about ants are not only surprising but also show how hardworking and dedicated they are. These small pests might seem tiny and useless for humans. But there’s a lot more that we can learn from ants’ behavior and characteristics to survive.(Last Updated On: April 4, 2021)