The World Of Ants

About 100 million years ago ants were developed from an ancient family of insects called wasps. Ants have lived this long because they eat so many things. And because there are trillions of them, over a million ants can live in a colony. Ants are small animals that are usually 1/12 to even over an inch long! Ants can be many colors. Most are red, black, or brown. But some species of ants have even pale yellow or green ants. Ants travel at the speed of about one foot per minute.

Ants live all over the world, except for Antarctica and also the arctic. I think ants can live all over the world because they travel in packs of a few dozen. Their colonies travel to another place.There, a male and a female mate, and they start a new colony containing millions of ants. Then a few dozen ants leave again and they keep doing this and they went all over the world. Ants don't live in the Arctic or Antarctica, because these places are very cold, and ants don't like cold places. Ants live underground, under rocks. And on the surface of the earth's soil. Ants live in these places, for one reason, they are all warm. And another, ants can lift about 50 times their own weight. Also the reason that they are very small, so they can fit in tight places. Ants are so small because their ancestors the wasps are very small.They live underground so they are protected from getting stepped on, blown away, or eaten by other insects. And they also have feelers that can feel any slight virabrations, so when a tunnell colapses they will know. Ants realitives the wasps also have feelers.

I don't think ants eat much because they are so small. This is a good thing because sometimes food gets scarce for ants. But ants usually eat meat, fat, or sweets. But there are two species that eat other things. One that eats seeds, which are most likely the harvester ants. Another species eats a special fungus that grows on caterpillar droppings. Not very pleasant is it? Ants

Ants live in colonies that contain up to millions of ants that are all female. They are started by only a few dozen ants! Ants that left their colony to start new lives. But no single ant can travel this journey alone. A single ant can not travel this journey alone because different ants are capable of different things. Because some ants may have had a special adaptation from their ancestors the wasps. The queen ant lays millions of eggs, in fact she raises everyone in the colony, and it wouldn't be fun giving birth with nobody to help! The Queens live from 10 to 20 years. Queens being able to lay so many eggs is an andaptation because if one member of the colony dies it does'nt effect the entire colony. They also have wings to help carry thier large bodies around. The male ant mates with the Queens, but only lives a few weeks. The Army ants go out in swarms of the thousands, and search for food, eating most insect in their path. They are larger than the worker ants but smaller than the males. And they are born with fighting skills so they don't have to be taught. The worker ant works, they care for the young, search for food, fight, and also lift dirt to build new tunnels. They are boen with good wurking skills. Slave makers steal other insect eggs and then make them slaves. Harvester ants put seeds in their nests and feed on them. And the Dairying ants keep insects that give off sweet liquids when milked. these insects are called aphids. Ants have sticky feet so they can climb trees to get the aphids. As you can see ants are divided into many sections and they now can spread the work around easily.

Most known ants run away from their enemies. But some lucky ants have developed stingers from the wasps. Some have also developed strong jaws. They use them to grab their enemies. Some grab with their strong jaws and sting their enemy.Ants also have stickey feet so they can climb trees to hide from other things. Another reason sticky feet is a good adaptation is because if an ant is on a towel and you shake it it won't fall off. This helps ants so they wont get blown away by wind.

Ants start out as eggs, these eggs are usually white. The egg hatches and is a little white grub, called larvae the larvae has no legs. Then the larvae is wrapped up by other ants. The larvae goes into the wrapping called pupa, inside the pupa the larvae doesn't eat or move. But it is growing into an adult. Then the larvae is unwrapped and is an adult. The adult ant helps wrap and unwrap the younger ants. An adult ant does not have to be taught how to do this, they are born knowing how.

Ants consist of three main parts, the head, the abdomen and the thorax. Ants communicate with each other by rubbing together parts of their abdomen. Some ants make a buzzing sound with their organs. Some hit the walls of the nest to tell the other ants to help. Some ants give off chemicals called pheromones. These chemicals smell and are used to communicate with other ants.


ant eggs


larvae

Pupa


adult ant

 

References:

Jouvenaz, Donald, "Ant," Collier's Encyclopedia, Volume number 2, New York, 1995.

Chang, Carol, "ANTS," Midweek, RFD Publications, Honolulu, November 11, 1998.

Carlin, Norman, "Ant," World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1998.

Sandybean, Norman, Ants: Backyard Science, Phoenix Films Inc., 1992.

By: Brandon B.

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