Ants were the play pets I always wanted as a kid. They did funny things, built amazing structures, and were always busy-bodies. That’s why it should be no surprise others were just as curious about them as I was…except they couldn’t shake it as they grew older.
Thus, we’re granted this amazingly awesome list of 25 facts compiled over the years. Seriously, are you ready to be amazed?
1.) Ants have “compound eyes“ made from numerous tiny lenses that are good for acute movement detection, but do not offer a high resolution image.
2.) Without ears, ants pick up ground vibrations via special sensors on their feet and knees.
3.) Ants actually survived while the dinosaurs didn’t. They evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago.
4.) Antquarium, a special container for keeping ants as pets, was developed by NASA to research animals in space.
5.) Ant queens can live up to 30 years, 100 times longer than similar sized insects. By contrast, worker ants only live about a year or so.
6.) Termites are often linked to ants, but they’re much closer to cockroaches.
7.) Ants grow, cultivate, and investigate individual fungus species. They also inter-breed them.
8.) The Jack Jumper Ant’s sting is fatal. However, an antidote does exist.
9.) The bullet ant is known to deliver the most painful bites (hence the name). The pain can last for 24 hours.
10.) Some ant species use the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves.
11.) The ant is believed to be the smartest insect, with 250,000 brain cells in its tiny head.
12.) Army Ants are nomadic. They only live in the same spot for short time, and then pack up their food, eggs, larvae, and the queen to move further.
13.) If a human could run as fast as the equivalent ant, they would sprint at 34 MPH.
14.) Recent studies show ants can lift 5000 times their weight.
15.) A queen’s sole job is to lay eggs. They’re then taken up and down the colony every day based on the temperature.
16.) Each ant colony has its own distinctive smell. Thus, intruders can be recognized immediately.
17.) There are more than 12,000 known species of ants, ranging in shape, color, and size from 0.03 to 2 inches in length.
18.) Ants can have slaves who do their bidding.
19.) Ant colonies can range from a few dozen to trillions.
20.) Ants have colonized almost every landmass on our planet, with the exception of Antarctica, the Arctic, and a handful of islands.
21.) The largest ant colonies are called “supercolonies.” They create giant ant hills and can be thousands of miles long. The largest supercolony covers over 3,700 miles, and has over 1 billion ants.
22.) Ants and their larvae are eaten as a delicacy in some countries. The eggs of two ant species are used in Mexican specialty called “Escamoles.” The eggs are considered a form of insect caviar and can sell for as much as $40 USD per pound.
23.) Ants are capable of a wide range of moves, such as jumping, gliding, or rafting. Some species are notable for their ability to form living chains to bridge water or vegetation.
24.) Ants are likely the only creature outside mammals capable of interactive learning, teaching their young to hunt by a series of commands.
25.) Some scientific studies suggest there are about 10,000,000,000,000,000 individual ants alive on Earth at any given time. Ants are estimated to represent about 15–20% of the total terrestrial animal biomass, which exceeds that of vertebrates.
(via List 25)
I remember why I stopped loving ants so much: They’re monsters! And they’re everywhere!
Read more: http://viralnova.com/worldly-ants/