Ants 101

1. Trap-jaw ants can shut their jaws quicker than any other in the animal kingdom. They have been recorded shutting their mouths at 230 km/hr (143 mph).

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2. The mangrove ant that nests in the cavities of wood in mangrove forests deals with flood by switching to anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration is breathing that uses an alternative to oxygen such as sulphur or nitrate. If their nests fill up with water, rather than drowning, they stop breathing air and start breathing compounds within the water.

3. The army ants of South America along with also the driver ants of Africa do not construct permanent nests. Rather they roam freely. In an emergency, when they need the safety of a nest they form a temporary nest out of their own bodies, by holding each other together.

4. Some species of ants can form chains to bridge gaps over water, underground, or throughout spaces in vegetation.

5. Australian mangrove swamp ants can swim and live in underwater nests. They breathe oxygen stored in pockets in their nests.

6. The ants massage (or milk) the caterpillars so until they secrete a honeydew like milk which the ants like to eat.

7. Many tropical shrub species have seeds that are dispersed by ants. Seed dispersal is prevalent and new estimates suggest that almost 9 percent of all plant species could rely upon this process.

8. Some birds indulge in a peculiar behaviour called “anting” that is as yet not fully known. These birds pick up and drop ants on their wings and feathers or sit on ant nests. It’s believed that they do so since the ants kill and remove parasites.

9. In some parts of the world (largely Africa and South America), military ants are used instead of stitches. The ant close the edges of the wound using its jaws.

10. The plant disperses its seeds widely, making manual collection difficult. Black ants collect and store these and other seeds in their nest, where humans can collect them easily. Up to half a pound (450g) of seeds could be accumulated from 1 ant-heap.

11. Although ants are found almost everywhere, a few ant species are actually endangered. In 1985, the Sri Lankan relict ant turned into the primary ant species to be classified as critically endangered. Today, they’re only found in one region of Sri Lanka.

12. It has been estimated by E.O. Wilson that the total number of ants alive on the planet at any one time is between ten and one quadrillion. According to 24/7 wildlife control fort lauderdale fl, the total mass of all the ants in the world is roughly equal to the whole mass of the whole human race. In other words if we could place all the ants on the ground in 1 pile and all the humans on the earth in another pile, the two piles would be about the same size.

13. The eggs of two species of ants are the basis for a dish in Mexico called escamoles. This is a delicacy and costs around 40 American dollars a pound (or $90 a kilo).

14. Hormigas culonas ants commonly known as “big bottomed ants”are toasted live and eaten while still warm.

15. In North Queensland, Australia, Aborigines are mashed green ants in water to create a drink like lemon squash.

16. Most ants have stingers. Often when people believe that they have been bitten by an ant they have instead been stung.

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