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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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'Ant bridge'-inspired nanoparticle assembly fixes...
on May 17, 2019 at 11:21 am
Colonies of social insects are capable of self-organizing and accomplishing complex tasks through individual interactions. For example, to march across large gaps, ants grip the bodies of each other, forming a living bridge that allows the colonies to reach the other side. Inspired by this swarm behavior of ants, scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong developed a nanoparticle self-assembly system that can fix broken electrical circuits. […]
New research finds cane toads use poison as a...
on May 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm
Cane toads are exhausted by releasing their deadly toxin and will go to great lengths not to release it. They far prefer to run or freeze when a predator approaches. […]
Insect behavior, miniature blimps may unlock the...
on May 15, 2019 at 1:57 pm
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory flew a fleet of 30 miniature autonomous blimps in unison to test the swarming behavior of autonomous systems. The blimps responded to each other while in flight and responded to changing conditions. […]
Egg yolk precursor protein regulates mosquitoes'...
on May 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Feeding mosquitoes sugar makes them less attracted to humans, a response that is regulated by the protein vitellogenin, according to a study publishing May 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Jessica Dittmer, Paolo Gabrieli and colleagues at the Università degli Studi di Pavia in Italy. […]
Let's mimic termite nests to keep human buildings...
on May 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm
When it comes to building sustainable buildings, humans have a lot to learn from termites. A recent study that colleagues and I published in Science Advances explains how some African termites maintain cool and stable temperatures in their nests throughout the year. The answer lies in the wall of the nests, composed of tiny but highly-connected pores. […]