Amazing ant facts you might not know
July 22nd, 2016 by Mike MacDonald in Ants
Ants have some amazing characteristics and can do some great things, here are a few ant facts you may not know about!
Ant Facts – A few Fire ant facts
Fire ants are often viewed as pests since their bites can be very painful. They are dangerous, and can cause massive amounts of damage. It is estimated that fire ants do a few billion dollars in damage in north america alone per year. Beyond their painful bites and destructive nature, they have some pretty amazing features. Fire ants can lift over 10 times their body weight. Imagine your average human male lifting over two thousand pounds with ease!
Another crazy fact about fire ants is that if they are threatened by water, like a raging river for example, they can build a living raft. The fire ant’s colonies sole survival depends on the new larva and survival of the queen. The colony as a whole will do whatever it takes to protect it. They all grab each other and form a living raft to get across the water until they can get the larva and queen to safety. The fire ants will pile up the larva and queen on top of all the other ants to keep them safe from the water and other predators like fish.
More ant facts
Ants don’t have ears and many species have very poor vision as well and some don’t have eyes. Most ants get around by sensing vibrations they feel in their surroundings. Ants also navigate though using their pheromones and work together with their fellow ants.
Ants typically send out scouting ants to search for food. If you have ants in your home killing these scouts can help with prevention. The scout ants leave trails to and from the food sources they find. Through trial and error the ants will eventually lay down the most pheromones on the most efficient path to get to the food. This is why you often see ants walking in single file lines outside or in your home. Here is a great article that explains the phenomenon in more detail – Click Here
Ants don’t have lungs
Another interesting fact is that ants don’t have lungs. They actually intake air in and out through tiny holes on their bodies. Ants also live longer than any other insect in the world. Their lifespan can reach up to 30 years. If you added up all of the ants in the world their total weight would be about the same as adding up all of the humans. There is around 1.5 million ants per person in the world.
Ants were the first farmers
According to Debbie Hadley, insects expert, “Ants started farming long before humans. Fungus farming ants began their agricultural ventures about 50 million years before humans thought to raise their own crops. The earliest evidence suggests ants began farming as early as 70 million years ago, in the early Tertiary period. Even more amazing, these ants used sophisticated horticultural techniques to enhance their crop yields. They secreted chemicals with antibiotic properties to inhibit mold growth, and devised fertilization protocols using manure.”
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