Have a look at our two new ant articles – Climate and Temperature and Territories! Both are amazingly interesting areas of antlife.
Climate and Temperature
An important factor in the success of an ant colony is its ability to regulate climate and temperature. Ants love heat and they often go to great lengths to achieve higher temperatures. But there are also species that work towards lowering it, often situated in very warm environments.
Most ants do not, unlike the popular belief, live in anthills. Only 16 of the 81 Scandinavian species build domes out of forest materials, like the classic woodland ants. Globally that number is even lower. It is much more common that ants settles right in the ground, preferring the materials of dirt, sand, moss or rotten wood (for example stubs).
Ants have no conscience. They kill without hesitation, wether it is insects or other ants (even their own species). The only thing that matters to them is the colony and its survival. Considering this aggressive behaviour it comes as no surprise that ant colonies are at constant war with other colonies. So, what do they fight about? Mostly it’s about food – and territories are the same thing as food supplies.
As Hölldobler & Wilson suggests in their book Journey to the Ants: if ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably destroy the world within a week (1). And there is not much to argue with there. Ants are terribly ferocious warriors, and they never give up. They can destroy a colony and not give up until the last enemy ant is dead, and then simply move on to eliminate the next threat.