10 Most Interesting Information About Ants You Can Learn
We have prepared for you some of the most interesting things we have learned about ants lately. Enjoyable readings…
Famous biologist E.O. We can’t get enough of admiring ants, which are “little things that rule the world” as Wilson’s definition is. Pharmacology (the science of ants) is still haunting many scientists because there are many more points to reveal.
10 Most Interesting Facts About Ants
An Inspiration for Professional Boxers
Sometimes intense conflicts can distract from well-organized ant communities. Entomologists (entomologists) at the University of Illinois and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences used high-speed cameras to record one-on-one fights in 4 species of trap-jawed ants.
Snap-jaw ants have powerful lower jaws that can close at a rate of 40 meters (130 feet) per second. Also, these jaws are so powerful that they use them to launch themselves into the air to avoid predators. However, they prefer to disable their deadly jaws while fighting each other.
Instead, they face one-on-one and attack each other with their antennae, like those of punching boxers. According to the measurements, different types of ants can attack their opponents 20 to 42 times a second.
The record was achieved by competitor Odontomachus brunneus, who lives in Florida. According to researchers, trap-jawed ants are the fastest boxers ever recorded.
Ants Are Not That Hard
Although they are often praised for their non-stop work, the ants are not much different from the lazy cicada in Aesop’s tales. Ant colonies do very well in the productive division of labor. Members engage in activities ranging from feeding larvae to foraging for food to building underground structures.
Then there are the lethargic ones – inactive ants that are skilled at “doing nothing”. Entomologists at the University of Arizona studied five different ant colonies (250 Temnothorax rugatulus ants) in their lab for 2 weeks.
The ants were marked with distinctive paint spots and recorded continuously. The results are astounding: More than 25 percent of the worker ants never actually worked, and more than 70 percent worked less in half the time.
About three percent lifted the entire load. But not everything may be as straight as it seems. Lethargic ants can be vital for the colony to run properly. Perhaps they are working on a task that cannot be captured by the camera.
It is also possible that their duties are not in sight, such as storing food and transmitting chemical messages for hungry workers in their stomachs. Their age is another possibility – they may be too young or too old to work. But researchers still haven’t thrown the idea that ants are just selfish.
Neat and Tidy Indoor Toilets
Ants exhibit interesting bathing habits. In a study conducted by biologists at the University of Regensburg, which included 21 advanced black garden ants in the laboratory, it was noticed that these creatures had at least one private area designed as a bath.
A wise decision for crowded nests… The insects in the study fed a food dye that turned their droppings blue or red; so researchers could track fecal waste. In a short time, colored clumps became visible in certain areas of the nests, especially in the corners.
On the other hand, the fact that the dead ants, food crumbs, and other wastes are poured out of the nest, while the excrement is kept in special chambers inside has aroused great curiosity among scientists.
There are some possible answers: Body waste; may have antimicrobial properties. It may also be used to feed babies, mark the territory or increase building material.
Taking Place of Pesticide Market
The goal of meeting future food needs more sustainably met an unexpected ally. According to a review published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, ants are safer and cheaper, as well as more efficient than pesticides.
Criticism; The weaver is based on articles on the use of ants in pest control for crops grown in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia. When the ants were used as pesticides, the yields of the crops (from cashew to citrus and mango trees) were equal to or better than those with pesticide sprayers.
Research has focused on weaver ants that live mostly in trees and have territorial areas. They own a huge territory from treetops to the ground and react aggressively to any invader. That’s why they have been used as agricultural pesticides for over a thousand years. But other ant species can be just as efficient.
Some ants seem to have found the source of youth among a small number of other species. According to scientists, ants of the Pheidole dentata species are not affected by senescence, that is, biological aging.
During their 140 days in the lab, these ants did not show signs of aging, such as increased cell death in the brain or a decrease in dopamine-serotonin-type neurotransmitters.
Old ants, on the other hand, were more dynamic. They even developed skills such as tracking smells better than young people. According to the researchers, the efficient social organization of ants plays an important role in keeping them in shape.
However, the fact that they are not immortal raises questions about how ants die. Because the study did not cover the last days of ants, scientists acknowledge that they accelerated some aging processes just before they died.
Ants A Model for Robotics
No obstacle can deter soldier ants from the starter. If there is a gap between themselves and the spoils (mostly food), they will stretch their bodies across the void, forming a complex living bridge.
Although this was not a recent phenomenon, researchers at Princeton University and The New Jersey Institute of Technology shed light on the complexity of these structures. Their work shows that a leaderless ants group works in a coordinated fashion, establishing a profit-loss balance and adjusting itself to the environment.
For example, the members decide whether it is better to have their workers imprisoned in the bridge structure or used elsewhere. These findings can be useful in robotics (robotics). After the study of worker ants, robot colonies can be used in reconnaissance or rescue operations.
Fire ants have a painful sting. The same is true of crazy ants – their names tell all about their behavior. Both are known as invasive species and pose a danger to the environment. When the paths of two species cross, a ruthless and inevitable war begins.
But a study by researchers at the University of Texas revealed that this ant conflict is largely one-sided. Although fire ants are equipped with extremely toxic venom, crazy ants carry antidotes.
When exposed to the normally deadly venom of fire ants, they secrete a drop of formic acid with chemical weapons. They spread formic acid all over their bodies to neutralize the venom. Then they return to the fight again.
This research explains how crazy ants (aka tawny crazy ants or raspberry crazy ants) ended decades of fire ant dominance in South America. Crazy ants seem determined to take over the territory. The cost of this to America’s economy could be as huge as to the ecosystem.
Thanks to their enormous appetites, ants and other arthropods provide New York with an auxiliary scavenger service. As a North Carolina State University study shows, these tiny creatures lick and swallow tons of trash from the streets.
Researchers put junk food in containers all over Manhattan. Some boxes were designed so that only small insects could get inside. The crew returned the next day to check the containers. By looking at the amount of food consumed within 24 hours, it was calculated that pavement arthropods (insects seen on sidewalks and walkways) were able to eat 6 kilograms (14 lb) per block each year.
Considering that New York produces 3 million tons of waste every year, this is very beneficial. The impressive appetites of the ants also help limit the mouse population in cities; because ants and mice are competing for food.
A team at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, found that within the colony’s age-based hierarchy, ants changed professions just like honey bees. Each member of the 6 carpenter ant colonies was marked with a special computer-readable symbol and was tracked by a camera for 41 days.
The study showed that ants take on more risky tasks as they get older, and ants, who start their profession as queens and nursing nurses for babies, move on to cleaning and then gathering.
Except cleaners, ants are only involved in the work of other ants in the same profession, possibly due to a yield problem. There are exceptions to this age-based business development. Some ants are evaluated according to their abilities; for example, they can do the same job for a lifetime or take on a high-grade job at an early age.
Being Their Doctor
Ants can understand that they are sick. They can also be on the list of animals that know zoopharmacognosy (using herbs for self-healing) and realize exactly what they need to heal.
Researchers from the University of Helsinki found that ants infected with a deadly fungus preferred foods containing hydrogen peroxide – normally poisonous to ants – to fight the disease.
When all observed ants belonging to the Formica fusca species encountered hydrogen peroxide, only those who were poisoned chose to eat this substance to increase their chances of survival. They were also careful not to overdose; Because this substance usually kills healthy ants. On the other hand, it is also found in aphids or decaying dead ants.