20 Awesome Facts About Ants
The ants belongs to the line of strangest and most interesting animals. There are more than 3,500 types of ants, and are commonly found almost everywhere in the world.
They are very similar to the other ants and differ from each other often only in their size. There are ants that are not greater than two millimeters, but also some of them are greater than five centimeters.
All types of ants live in communities, but there are differences in the ways of their lives and habits.
We bring you the 20 most interesting facts about these little animals …
Fact: The most interesting species of ants are undoubtedly army ants. They are carnivorous, they hunt, kill and eat prey such as termites, worms, spiders, bees and sometimes even lizards or frogs.
Fact: Army ants, which can grow up to two centimeters, are “specialists” for hunting the termites and use a recognizable strategy. Scouts leave the anthill and go in search of termite mound. After they find it, they return to the ‘warriors’, hundreds of them, and in formation they lead them to battle.
Fact: During battle, injured army ants secret some type of pheromones, which is a sign that they need help. Others take them to anthill. Ants who lose one or two of their six legs in a battle can quickly adapt their motor skills and within 24 hours they are almost as quick as they are healthy.
Fact: The type of ants that belong to Temnothorax genus of ants, include several hundred kinds of small ants living in trees and forests, is called “pilagens” which in Latin means “robbers” because of the way they infiltrate the other anthills to “steal” the ants that will serve as slaves. These ants release a specific chemical substance that prevents their prey from recognizing them as enemies.
Fact: Amazonian ants are ants specializing for battles with larger insects and other ants. With their powerful jaws they can dominate much larger insects and raise the load 50 times heavier than their own weight. The only problem with this type of ants is that the strong jaw is too big and prevent any other work. So, in order to survive, they enslave forest ants who are working for them all their lives.
Fact: So far, the oldest finding of the ants has been caught and preserved in amber, which proves that at about 92 million years ago they already inhabited the earth.
Fact: The ants can vary in color; most ants are red or black, and several species are green and some tropical species have a metallic glow. More than 12,000 species are currently known (estimated to be around 22,000), with the highest diversity in the tropics.
Fact: In some parts of the world (mainly Africa and South America), large ants, especially army ants with big jaws, are used as surgical threads. The wound is compressed by pressing and the ants are applied along it. The ants gather the edges of the wound with their jaws and fix them. The bodies are then removed, and the head and jaw remain in place to close the wound.
Fact: It is estimated that the total number of individual ants in the world at any time is between one and ten quadrillion. This means, the total weight of all the ants in the world is approximately equal to total weight of the entire human race. Likewise, according to this estimate, there are about 1 million ants per one man on Earth.
Fact: The Queen ant can live up to 15 years, and it’s interesting to mate just once in a lifetime.
Fact: Males develop from uncoated eggs, while fertilized eggs develop into females.
Fact: The ants do not have lungs – the oxygen passes through small holes across the body, and the carbon dioxide exits through the same openings. However, the ants have two stomachs, one of which serves for food to be shared with other ants…
Fact: Their legs are very strong so they can run very fast. If a man could run like an ant, he would be quickly like a racehorse.
Fact: The ant’s brain has about 250,000 brain cells. The human brain has 10,000 million so that a colony of 40,000 ants as a community has roughly the same brain size as a man.
Fact: Some birds put ants in their feathers because their acid helps to fight parasites.
Fact: Man is not the only one dealing with agriculture. For some types of ants it has been proven that they are breeding their own herbage plants. These are mainly mushrooms.
Fact: In the jungles of Borneo live a species of ants with a unique way of defending predators – exploding as a suicide bomber. When their colony is threatened by a predator, they blow up their bodies. Parts of their bodies expel toxic sticky liquid that killing the enemy or discourage further attacks.
Fact: Ants living in Europe mostly turn left when exploring an unknown terrain, thus limiting the risk that some of them will be a victim of predators in search of food.
Fact: The species of ants called “Ants from Mars” is blind and lives under the ground, and most likely is descendant of the first ants that appeared on earth. They are between two and three millimeters long, very pale, with no eyes or large lower jaw.