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
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.
- Ants' farming practices and efficient navigation...on November 15, 2022 at 6:57 pm
King Solomon may have gained some of his famed wisdom from an unlikely source—ants.
- Study: Termite queen and king are the best...on November 8, 2022 at 7:49 pm
Studying the parental behaviors of termites has provided a University of Florida scientist with a rare look into how a queen and king pair push the limits of parenthood.
- Spider mites found to avoid leaves where ants...on November 8, 2022 at 6:16 pm
Ants may not urinate to mark their territory as dogs do, but the behavior of spider mites might suggest otherwise. Under significant pressure from ants, mites have to choose between safety and risk: staying out of ant territory to avoid predation or venturing into it to find food.
- Like an invisible pair of tweezers, sound waves...on October 19, 2022 at 3:59 pm
While DIY acoustic levitation kits can be found online, the technique has important applications for research and industry including manipulating sensitive material such as biological cells.
- Eating fire ants could prepare lizards for future...on October 17, 2022 at 8:39 pm
Eating fire ants might prepare a lizard's immune system to be stung by the ants, according to a new study by researchers at Penn State. The study comprehensively assessed how the immune system responds to lizards eating and being stung by these ants and might help researchers understand how other native species respond and adapt to the invasive insects.
Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
Tree of Life
Prokaryote Archaea, Bacteria
Eukaryote Protist, Fungi, Algae, Protozoa (Tardigrade)
Plant Flower, Tree
Cnidaria Coral, Jellyfish
Cephalopod Cuttlefish, Octopus
Crustacean Lobster, Shrimp
Arachnid Spider, Scorpion
Insect Ant, Bee, Beetle, Butterfly
Fish Seahorse, Ray, Shark
Amphibian Frog, Salamander
Reptile Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird Penguin, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Platypus, Bat, Mouse, Rabbit, Goat, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Panda, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Cetacean Whale, Dolphin
Primate Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human