Ants are without a doubt fascinating insects with an enormous variety of abilities. Or would you have thought that the most painful insect bite in the world can be caused by an ant? These little creatures are at home almost everywhere in the world and conquer almost every habitat. For those who want to take a closer look, we recommend our exciting facts about ants.
1. Hippopotami on average kill 2,900 humans per year, stags 130, ants 30, cows 22, horses 20, and sharks only five. But who would run away from a cow?
2. Sexually mature ants have wings and go on a mating flight several times a year.
3. To cross watercourses, fire ants can join together to form a large raft.
4. Ants have two stomachs. While the first is used for their digestion, the second serves as a storehouse to share food with other ants later.
5. There is a type of fungus that grows on ants and controls their behavior. The ant then has no control over its own body.
6. Ants bury their dead to avoid spreading diseases.
7. Polyrhachis sokolova is the only ant species that can swim and navigate underwater. The species nests in the mangrove forests of Queensland in Australia.
8. Scientists estimate that today’s ants have existed on Earth for 120 million years.
9. Brazilian natives used ants as wound clamps. They let the ants bite and close the wound with their pincers and then pulled off their bodies. The pincers remained wedged in the body, closing the wound.
10. Slavery exists in the ant world. Blood-red ants and European Amazon ants regularly go to other nests, kill the queen, and kidnap larvae and pupae. In their own nest, they are then raised to become workers to provide for the colony.
11. There are butterfly larvae that can mimic the sounds of queen ants so that they are fed by worker ants.
12. There are about 300 species of spiders that can mimic the behavior, appearance, or even fragrance of ants. Few of them deceive their prey in this way and then attack them from behind.
Read more: 40 Impressive Facts About Spiders
13. At only two millimeters in size, the pharaoh ant is the smallest ant species in the world.
14. To honor Harrison Ford for his efforts to preserve the tropics, the ant species Pheidole harrisonfordi was named after the actor.
15. Scientist Justin O. Schmidt described the sting of a bullet ant as like “walking over burning charcoal with a three-inch nail in your heel”. It is the most painful insect bite in the world on the Schmidt Index.
16. Ants do not have ears and can only perceive sounds through vibrations.
17. Worker ants are always female. They take care of the offspring, provide for the queen, search for food, settle conflicts, and eliminate waste. They seldom have offspring of their own.
18. Besides humans, ants and bees are the only animals to wage war against members of the same species. If you want to learn even more about this fact, be sure to check out our article on it.
19. Ants have a higher muscle content than humans and can carry an estimated 50 times their body weight.
20. In 2012, a new ant species was discovered in New York City. Scientists named it “ManhattAnt”.
21. Male ants have no fathers because unfertilized ant eggs always produce male ants and only fertilized eggs produce female ants.
22. In Iceland, Greenland, and the Antarctic there are no ants.
23. In mathematics, there is an ant algorithm. This follows the strategy for wayfinding in ants. On the search for food and on the way back to the nest, ants spray scents that are followed by conspecifics. The shortest paths are used more often so that finally only this one is used.
24. Queens of the black garden ant can live up to 29 years.
25. There are about 12,000 different species of ants on the planet.
26. Ants do not have noses but smell with their antennae.
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27. The largest ant colony in the world was discovered in 2002 and contains several billion animals. The superstate has many millions of nests and stretches over 3,580 miles from the Italian Riviera to the northwest of Spain.
28. In Mexico, there is a delicacy called “escamoles” – ant eggs.
29. Most ants can survive up to 24 hours underwater because they can restrict their bodily functions so much that they use 80 percent less oxygen than when they are asleep.
30. At up to 1.6 inches (four centimeters) in size, the giant Amazonian ants are the largest ant species in the world.
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