ant : any of a family (formicidae) of colonial hymenopterous insects with a complex social organization and various castes performing special duties — Webster
Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period, about 99 million years ago, and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.
Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist mostly of sterile, wingless females forming castes of “workers”, “soldiers”, or other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called “drones” and one or more fertile females called “queens”. The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.
Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships. — Wikipedia
Myrmecology is a branch of entomology focusing on the scientific study of ants. Some early myrmecologists considered ant society as the ideal form of society and sought to find solutions to human problems by studying them. Ants continue to be a model of choice for the study of questions on the evolution of social systems because of their complex and varied forms of eusociality (social organization). Their diversity and prominence in ecosystems also has made them important components in the study of biodiversity and conservation. Recently, ant colonies are also studied and modeled for their relevance in machine learning, complex interactive networks, stochasticity of encounter and interaction networks, parallel computing, and other computing fields. — Wikipedia
Ant keeping is a hobby involving the capture, care, and observation of ants and ant colonies. — Wikipedia
Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.
- How many ants are on Earth? 20 quadrillion, study...on September 24, 2022 at 1:10 pm
There are at least 20 quadrillion ants on Earth, according to a new study that says even that staggering figure likely underestimates the total population of the insects, which are an essential part of ecosystems around the world.
- Bumblebees can be classified as 'fish' under...on September 23, 2022 at 6:10 pm
In a move that could allow a broad range of insects to be considered for endangered species status, the state Supreme Court has found that California bumblebees can be protected under the law as a type of fish.
- Earth harbours 20,000,000,000,000,000 ants. And...on September 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm
Have you ever wondered exactly how many ants live on Earth? Possibly not, but it's certainly a question we've asked ourselves.
- How many ants are there on Earth?on September 19, 2022 at 8:30 pm
How many stars are there in our galaxy? How many grains of sand in the Sahara? How many ants live on Earth? These are all questions that seem impossible to answer. However, through intensive and extensive data analysis, science is coming amazingly close to finding the solutions. When it comes to ants, a team led by Würzburg biologists Sabine Nooten and Patrick Schultheiss has done just that.
- What constitutes a mind? Researcher challenges...on September 19, 2022 at 3:36 pm
At the beginning of my research career around 15 years ago, any suggestion that a bee, or any invertebrate, had a mind of its own or that it could experience the world in an intricate and multifaceted way would be met with ridicule. As Lars Chittka points out in the opening chapters of "The Mind of a Bee," the attribution of human emotions and experiences was seen as naivety and ignorance; anthropomorphism was a dirty word.
Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
Life Cell, Gene, Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Cuttlefish, Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human