Ants are highly social animals belonging to the family Formicidae and the order Hymenoptera. Over 12,000 different species of ants have been classified till date with an upper estimate of around 14000 species. These animals mostly live in colonies which may vary in size from a few individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies occupying large territories. These colonies mostly comprise of certain sterile wingless females, called workers or soldiers. Apart from them, there are certain fertile males, called drones and one or more fertile females called ‘queens’. All of them work in unison, to support the colony. There are different types of ants found all over the world. This includes the army ants, driver ants, honeypot ants, fire ants, weaver ants, silver ants and bulldog ants. To know more interesting factsabout this unique and amazing creature, read the pointers given below.
Facts About Ants
Size: 0.75 to 52 mm
Life Span: 45 to 60 days
Diet: Herbivorous, carnivorous or omnivorous
Gestation Period: 69 to 78 days
Number of Offspring: Varied
Interesting & Amazing Information On Ants
- Ants have 6 legs in total, with each leg having three joints. They can lift as much as 20 times their own body weight.
- A single ant has a brain that contains around 250,000 brain cells, whereas a human brain has around 10,000 million brain cells. Hence, 40,000 ants collectively have the size equivalent to a single human brain.
- The antennae present in ants are used for the purpose of smell as well as touch.
- The head of an ant has a large pair of strong jaws, which open and shut sideways, like a pair of scissors. The adult ones cannot chew and swallow solid food. Instead they consume the juice that they squeeze from the food particles and discard the remaining part.
- An ant has two eyes; each eye is made of many smaller eyes. These are known as compound eyes.
- The single abdomen of an ant has two stomachs, one of which is used to hold the food for itself, while the other is used to store the food that has to be shared with the other ants.
- There are more than 10000 species of known ants present in the world.
- The main function of the queen ant is to lay eggs. The workers, on the other hand, are sterile and look after the eggs, go out in search of food and defend the nest from unwanted visitors or threats.
- Certain variety of ants, like wood ants and common black ants, squirt a spray that consists of formic acid. This spray is used by certain birds, over their feathers, to get rid of parasites from their body.
- In the night, the worker ants protect the eggs and larvae from the cold, by keeping them deep inside the nest. In the day time, they keep them at the top of the nest, to keep them warm
- In case a worker ant has found a good source of food, it leaves a trail of scent for the others to find out and follow.
- A number of human civilizations have uses ants for medication, cuisine and ritualistic purposes.