Facts about ants
Despite being tiny, ants never cease to fascinate us. They have incredible colony systems, and with myrmecologists digging deeper into their mysteries we start to understand their world. Let’s go through the basics of being an ant!
Table of Contents
The flying ants are of utmost importance to the ant colony. They are the crown jewel of the colony’s reproduction strategy, and a new generation of them leaves the nest every year to mate and found new colonies. They are the new queens and males, and they coordinate their flight with the help of weather and season.
How does an ant society actually function? The ants are unable to talk to each other, and their eyes are nowhere near our human eyes. So how do they communicate with each other?
Much like butterflies, the ants go through a complex metamorphosis before they are considered full-grown and ready. The time it takes from egg to ant varies, but all the different species share the same pattern.
The anatomy of ants is captivating. Even though their skeleton is on the outside of their body, they are very flexible. This exoskeleton encapsulates the ant’s inner organs and muscles and serves as protection against attacks.
The ant colony consists of several different groups. The dominant of course being the workers, amounting to millions of individuals in some species. There’s also the queen, the center of the colony, and lastly the males.
Parasites in the ant world is very common, but they do not seem to affect their host’s life in a wider sense. One of the more famous parasites is the ”zombie-fungus” that infects its host and makes it climb high above the ground. When reaching the top the ant will hold on until the parasite kills it.