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Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate 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
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
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
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SLIPS and pitfalls: Synthetic surfaces inspired...
on September 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Our understanding of how to manipulate and control liquids in technology has been transformed by the functional surfaces evolved by living organisms to interact with their environment. Water-repellent lotus leaves, water-collecting wing-cases of desert beetles, and water-removing gecko skin are some of the many organisms that have inspired solutions to challenges in liquid manipulating technologies. The requirement for liquid-repellent surfaces infiltrates industries from architecture, to […]
Caffeine does not influence stingless bees
on August 23, 2019 at 12:20 pm
The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) that has a sting for use in defense is common in Western Europe. Stingless bees, on the other hand, are mainly at home in the tropics and subtropics. They are a very social group and live in colonies. They construct hives where they store honey for their colony. While the western honey bee reacts to the presence of caffeine in nectar and pollen and becomes more active in terms of foraging the corresponding food source, it would seem that stingless bees […]
How conserving nature's 'umbrella' species could...
on August 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm
In conservation, charismatic mammals and birds such as the black rhinoceros and the capercaillie get a lot of attention, while others, like invertebrates, are often ignored. One way of addressing this problem is to focus on protecting "umbrella species." These are species whose conservation can benefit many others, especially those that rely on similar habitats. But does this work in practice?
Leaping larvae! How do they do that without legs?
on August 9, 2019 at 4:53 am
Attaching its head to its tail to form a ring, a 3-millimeter larva of the goldenrod gall midge squeezes some internal fluids into its tail section, swelling it and raising the pressure like an inner tube.
Desert seed-harvesting ants will save nestmates...
on July 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm
It started out as a typical day at work for ant researcher Christina Kwapich.