Ant Facts

Ant Facts
Ant is a type of social insect. There are more than 12.000 species of ants and nearly as much species that are not discovered yet. Ants have appeared on the planet 130 million years ago. They can be found on all continents except on Antarctica. Tropical forests are home for most species of ants. Ants can improve quality of soil and eliminate parasites and unwanted insects from the gardens. They can be also used as a source of food for humans. Unlike beneficial ants, some species are classified as pest because they produce negative effects on the crops and attack (bite) livestock and humans.
Interesting Ant Facts:
Ants can reach 0.03 to 2 inch in length, depending on the species.
Ants have large head, elbowed antennae, strong jaws, narrow waist and three pairs of legs. Only queen and males of some species of ants have wings.
Ants have poor eyesight. They communicate via sound, touch and chemical signals (substances called pheromones).
Ants are very successful group of animals. There are around 1.5 million ants per person on the planet. Weight of entire population of ants is equal to weight of global human population.
Ants can be active both during the day and night, depending on the species.
Ants can carry load that is 50 times greater of their own weight.
Ants are omnivores. Their diet is based on seed, fungi, nectar and insects. Some large species of ants eat reptiles, birds and small mammals.
Ants are very cooperative animals. They have two stomachs, one for their own needs and other designed to store food for other members of the colony. What looks like kissing of ants is actually "mouth-to-mouth" feeding, known as trophallaxis. This method of feeding provides food from the "social" stomach.
Ants live in the colonies that consist of workers (females), drones (males) and queen. Workers collect food and take care of the nest, young members of the colony and queen. Drones are responsible for the fertilization of queen, whose main duty is to lay thousands of eggs and keep colony alive.
Survival of some species of ants doesn't depend on the males due to ability to reproduce by cloning.
Colonies can consist of few dozen or few million ants. Largest ever recorded colony of ants had a radius of 3750 miles.
All ants that can be seen in the wild are female workers.
Some ants use their heads to plug the entrance holes and keep unwanted guests outside the colony.
Some ants, such as harvester ant, are extremely poisonous. Single bite of harvester ant can deliver same amount of toxin as the sting of 12 honey bees.
Ants can survive from several weeks to few years, depending on their role in the colony and species. Queen can survive up to 30 years.

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