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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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Odors produced by soil microbes attract red fire...
on September 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Newly mated queens of the red fire ant select nest sites with a relatively low pathogen risk by detecting odors produced by soil bacteria that inhibit the growth of ant-infecting fungi, according to a study published September 10 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Daifeng Cheng and Yongyue Lu of South China Agricultural University, and colleagues. As noted by the authors, this is the first time that the chemical signals of soil microorganisms have been reported to affect the nesting […]
Origin of a complex life form revealed
on September 2, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Researchers from McGill University have revealed the steps by which two very distinct organisms—bacteria and carpenter ants—have come to depend on one another for survival to become a single complex life form. The study, published today in Nature, shows that the two species have collaborated to radically alter the development of the ant embryo to allow this integration to happen. Understanding how such grand unifications originate and evolve is a major puzzle for biologists. Ehab Abouheif, […]
Brazilian researchers complete sequencing of...
on September 1, 2020 at 11:20 am
A consortium of researchers funded by Brazil's National Council for Scientific and Technological Development and FAPESP has sequenced the genome of Frieseomelitta varia, a native stingless bee (common name: marmelada). The feat extends scientists' understanding of the evolution of stingless bees (Meliponini) and paves the way for the breeding of commercially useful species.
Reduce insecticide spraying by using ant...
on August 27, 2020 at 8:05 am
Scientists at the Universities of Bath and Sussex have developed a new system that slowly releases ant pheromones to attract pests to an insecticide bait. This means that instead of spraying the whole crop with pesticides, traps can be placed in specific areas for more targeted protection.
Termite-fishing chimpanzees provide clues to the...
on August 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Researchers, who remotely videotaped a generation of wild chimpanzees learning to use tools, gain insights into how technology came to define human culture.