Ants are common insects we all would have seen and some of us have been on the bad side and were bitten. It is amazing how tough these small insects are especially when we talk about their small size – Most of them are just 0.08 – 1 inch long an live in colonies. You must have seen thousands and thousands of ants in your lifetime and have wondered what keeps them so busy all the time! You never see an ant idling or being lazy. Some claim there are over 100 trillion ants on the Earth and to be frank we never can calculate the actual number. I am sure you had many questions when you see these little ants running around. Here are some interesting ant facts you might not know.
Ants facts you didn’t know
- Ants never sleep. They constantly keep working almost all the time unless they are tending to something stationery
- Ants leave a pheromone trail when finding out a path so they can trace it back easily when needed
- Ants are super power-lifters. Ants can easily lift up to 20-50 times their body weight and carry over long distances
- Ants don’t have lungs. Ants breathe through tiny holes on their sides called spiracles which lead to a network of tubes that supply oxygen to the tissues. By opening and closing these spiracles, ants can pump air in and out.
- Ants have two stomachs – one for their self-use and other for food that can be shared for others. Talk about expandable storage!
- Ants can act as caretakers and have been seen to farm aphids. Especially in rainy season or attacks by predators, aphids are taken care by ants in exchange for the honeydew they secrete. Ants caress the aphids with their antennae for the as if they are milching them
- Ants don’t have ears – they can read the sounds from the vibrations that are read through their feet. Next time you shout commands to them and they don’t follow, you know why.
- Ants can turn in to Zombies – There is a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis which attacks the carpenter ant and can turn it into a zombie. No, there is not going to an apocalypse anytime soon.
- Some species of female ants reproduce asexually (parthenogenesis). Who needs a male anyway?
- 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.
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