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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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Ants that defend plants receive sugar and protein
on July 18, 2019 at 10:26 am
Biologists Laura Carolina Leal and Felipe Passos have performed a series of experiments to determine how plants with extrafloral nectaries interact with ants in Brazil's Northeast region—specifically, in the interior of Bahia State, where the semiarid Caatinga biome predominates. […]
How invading fungus forces zombie ant's death grip
on July 18, 2019 at 6:44 am
If it's thoughts of zombies that keep you awake at night, you shouldn't be worried about zombie humans; it's the carpenter ants (Camponotus castaneus) that should concern you most. When infected by a specialised fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato), the hapless ants are unable to resist its potent power. Losing free will, the unfortunate victims locate tall pieces of vegetation, marching to a high point before the fungal infection forces them to clamp their […]
Australian ants prepared for 'Insect Armageddon'
on July 16, 2019 at 2:48 pm
Researchers studied ants in the Simpson Desert for 22 years and found that local changes in climate, such as long-term increases in rainfall, combined with human efforts to restore ecosystems, may have led to increased numbers of species—rather than the declines which might be expected in such unpredictable conditions. […]
Grasshoppers and silkworms have antioxidant...
on July 15, 2019 at 6:11 am
For the first time, a study has measured antioxidant levels in commercially available edible insects. […]
Carnivorous plants: No escape for mosquitoes
on July 9, 2019 at 11:44 am
Physically bound to a specific location, plants have to devise special ways to secure their supply of vital nutrients. Most plants have developed a root system to the nutrients they need in order to survive out of the soil. But what if nutrient-poor soils fail to provide the necessities of life? Carnivorous plants such as the Venus flytrap have found a way out of this dilemma. […]