Ants are found nearly everywhere on Earth, with the exception of Antarctica and the Arctic. This little creatures live in complex colonies that have more similarities with human societies than with those of primates. Here are some 10 fascinating facts about ants:
1. Are the longest living of all insects – a queen ant was recorded to have lived for 30 years in its natural habitat in Idahoe USA.
2. Are capable of carrying objects 50 times their own body weight with their mandibles and they will work together in small or large groups to move even heavy objects.
3. They move an estimated 50 tons of soil per year in one square mile.
4. Enslave other ants to increase the worker force of their colony.
5. They can alert one each others about potential danger or indicate a food source with the help of pheromones.
6. They evolved some 130 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period; by contrast, Homo, from which humans evolved, diverged only 2 million years ago.
7. Along humans they are the only creatures that farm other creatures. Many ants have developed a variety of symbiotic relationships with some ‘homopterans’ insects that obtain their their own food from plants and pass some of it on to the ants. To keep the honeydewin close supply, some ants will herd these insects, carrying them from plant to plant.
8. They sleep pretty much. This fact might come as a surprise for many of us since it is thought that ants always work and never sleep. research on fire ant sleeping patterns however proves that ant workers had an average of 253 ‘sleep episodes’ a day, that lasted an average of 1.1 minutes, for a total of approximately 4.8 hours of sleep overall.