Skip to content

Ants.

When I was in middle school I would crush bees and wasps with my friends and then leave them as an offering at a colony of ants. It was pretty great because stomping stinging insects that can fly takes timing and has an (admittedly small) element of danger to it. Also cool was that we could see the colony massively expanding over the course of the two or three weeks that the experiment held our attention. Pretty crazy how the addition of one or two flying insects every day gave the little colony such a boost. I guess it would be like if we had elephants dropped outside our houses to eat.

A seething carpet of ants I found on a walk last summer. I poked it with that stick before they forcibly took it from me and told me to buzz off. They probably stole that line from some bees.

Here are some great facts about ants for you to enjoy. I got them from the Wikipedia article on Ants. I only made it about halfway through so go ahead and count on a sequel.

  1. Ants are related to wasps and bees.
  2. Ant colonies can range from a few dozen to millions. I really want to put exclamation marks after all of these facts but doing that with all of them would probably just be annoying. Please imagine them though.
  3. Most ants are sterile females. Fertile male ants have wings which makes me think that they probably got an even sweeter deal in the Ant Garden of Eden than male humans.
  4. Ants make up between 15-25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Which means that if you took all the animals on the land and rolled them into a ball possibly a quarter of it would be ants. They would most certainly be in your pants is what I’m saying.
  5. The word ant comes to us from Old High German ameiza which means “the biter”. The family name for ants is Formicidae which comes from the Latin word for ant which is formica. That isn’t TOO far from hormiga, the Spanish word for ant.
  6. Termites are not ants. They are related to cockroaches and I think we can all agree that that makes sense because they are way grosser than ants.
  7. Most ants are red or black. But some are GREEN and a few species have a metallic luster. ROBOT ANTS.
  8. Most ants have pretty crummy eyesight. I guess they don’t know any better. I wonder if that is what eagles say about humans. Whatever, eagles, our vision is good enough to play Angry Birds on our cell phones. Oh what, you don’t got any eagle cell phones and even if you did your talons probably wouldn’t work the touch screen anyway? Oh but it’s still great that your vision is so much better than ours. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back wait what no arms?
  9. Ants are shaped different depending on what they do. Queens, soldiers, drones, male sex slaves, et cetera. In theory the big ants you see mixed in with regular ants are better soldiers because they can bite better with their bigger mandibles but in practice they are the first to go because when I smite I smite the ants that stick out.
  10. Usually worker ants start out caring for larvae and then graduates to digging and then eventually goes on to foraging. See, older ants are more likely to die of natural causes so we might as well have them do the most dangerous jobs. That is actually a really good idea. Mom, we need you to get started ice trucking or coal mining. No wait do both at the same time.
  11. Male ants only live for a few weeks, female workers live one to three years, and queen ants can live up to thirty years! There are little tiny bugs that are older than me! And they have millions of servants. Really makes a person reflect on what they’ve done with their life.
  12. Ants communicate using pheremones. This is pretty cool because in my mind it is like they smell different things and then they are like, “Nice to see you too, Cedric”. Also, a crushed ant emits pheremones that cause nearby ants to freak the heck out. Some ant colonies use the pheremones like propoganda to confuse their enemies and get them to fight each other!
  13. Bullet ants have the most painful bite of any insect. The Schmidt Sting Pain Index describes it as “Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.”
  14. Weaver ants build their nests in trees out of leaves.
  15. Leafcutter ants exclusively eat a fungus they grow inside of their nests. The biggest ants bring in leaves, smaller ants chop them up and the smallest ants chew them with their mouths and the fungus grows on this mulch. Little tiny farmer ants with little tiny pitch forks and little tiny straw hats.

5 Comments

  1. Heather wrote:

    Yay! I love wikipedia!

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Andrew wrote:

    Joshua loves ants. Frequently.

    Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink
  3. Ashers wrote:

    I’m not sure I got very far into this before I started to feel ants crawling all over my body. You did that on purpose and I hate you for it.

    Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink
  4. Elizabeth wrote:

    You need to buy “The A Book” The very last sentance says “Ants are amazing”

    Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  5. Andrew wrote:

    http://wondermark.com/102/

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*

 

Better Tag Cloud