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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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The engineering work of ants can influence...
on November 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Ants of the species Messor barbarus modify the grain size and mineralogical composition of the soils they inhabit, influencing the results obtained in palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental studies, according to research conducted by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN), the Institute of Geosciences (CSIC, UCM) and the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC). […]
Helping Marvel superheroes to breathe
on November 18, 2018 at 11:22 pm
Marvel comics superheroes Ant-Man and the Wasp—nom de guerre stars of the eponymous 2018 film—possess the ability to temporarily shrink down to the size of insects, while retaining the mass and strength of their normal human bodies. But a new study suggests that, when bug-sized, Ant-Man and the Wasp would face serious challenges, including oxygen deprivation. […]
New research uncovers the predatory behavior of...
on November 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm
"Add 'skull-collecting ant' to the list of strange creatures in Florida," says Adrian Smith a scientist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University. His new research describes the behavioral and chemical strategies of a Florida ant, Formica archboldi, that decorates its nest with the dismembered body parts of other ant species. […]
How plants evolved to make ants their servants
on November 12, 2018 at 8:00 pm
Plants are boring. They just sit there photosynthesizing while animals have all the fun. Right? Not so much. Take a look at the interactions between ants and plants—plants have evolved features specifically to make them enticing to ants, like juicy nectar for the insects to eat and hollow thorns for them to take shelter in. In exchange, plants use ants to spread their seeds and even act as bodyguards. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences breaks down the […]
Fire ant colonies could inspire molecular...
on November 5, 2018 at 8:59 pm
Think of it as mathematics with a bite: Researchers at CU Boulder have uncovered the statistical rules that govern how gigantic colonies of fire ants form bridges, ladders and floating rafts. […]