Ant facts

  • If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse. 
  • Ants can lift 20 times their own body weight. 
  • With their combined weight greater than the combined weight of all humans, ants are the most numerous type of animal.
  • An ant brain has about 250 000 brain cells. A human brain has 10,000 million so a colony of 40,000 ants has collectively the same size brain as a human. 
  • Ant brains are largest amongst insects. An ant's brain may have the same processing power as a Macintosh II computer.
  • Thousands of years ago, King Solomon wrote: "Go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise". 
  • The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. 
  • Adult ants cannot chew and swallow solid food. They rely on juice which they squeeze from pieces of food. 
  • The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants. 
  • There are over 10000 known species of ants. 
  • Some worker ants are given the job of taking the rubbish from the nest and putting it outside in a special rubbish dump. 
  • Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites. 
  • The Slave-Maker Ant (Polyergus rufescens) raids the nests of other ants and steals their pupae. When these new ants hatch, they work as slaves within the colony. 
  • If a worker ant has found a good source for food, it leaves a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can find the food. 
  • Army Ants are nomadic and they are always moving. They carry their larvae and their eggs with them in a long column.
  • The Army Ant (Ecitron burchelli) of South America can have as many as 700,000 members in its colony. 
  • The Leaf Cutter Ants cut out pieces of leaves which they take back to their nests. 
  • Wood ant workers live seven to ten years.
  • The queen ant lives up to ten or twenty years.
  • The wood ant can threaten the enemy with open jaws.
  • There are thirty-five thousand kinds of ants in the world.
  • Some ants sleep seven hours a day.
  • Ants are normally from 2 to 7 mm long, although carpenter ants can stretch to 2 cm, or almost an inch. 

Fire ants

  • Some ants care for and "farm" other insects.
  • Ants don't sleep.
  • When the only queen ant dies, so does the entire colony, because no new workers are born.
  • The study of ants is called Myrmecology.
  • For every human in the world there are one million ants.
  • The brain of an ant has about 250,000 brain cells.
  • The sense of smell of an ant is just as good as a dog's is.
  • Ants can lift an object up to fifty times their body-weight and carry it over their heads. They don't do this with their feet, but with their mouths.
  • A leaf-cutter ant queen mates only once - just before establishing a new colony. She can then keep the sperm viable for up to 15 years and produce as many as 300 million offspring.
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