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Animals >>

Ant


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Leaf-Cutter Ants at Colchester Zoo
Ant on bamboo, Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre
Colchester Zoo
Ants in the early evening taking of on the bridal flight Veluwe, The Netherlands
A winged ant, probably male
The ant is a small sized invertebrate that is found all around the world, with the exception of the polar regions including the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. As with many other species of insect, there are numerous ant species inhabiting many different environments all around the world.

There are more than 12,000 recognised species of ant worldwide, but there are estimated to be nearly 14,000 in total. Ants are thought to have developed from wasp like creatures 100 million years ago after blooming flowers appeared on Earth.

Ants are found in many different sizes and vary in colour depending on the species of ant. Some species of ant even have wings so are able to fly which only extends the range of their territory. In the more humid environment of the tropical jungles of the Southern Hemisphere, the ants are generally of the bigger species, often reaching more than a few centimetres long.

Ants are extremely sociable insects and have a complex social structure where every ant individual has a purpose (effectively a job). Ants live in colonies and have a social structure from the worker ants that gather the materials and food, as well as nursing and caring for the ant larvae (the babies), to the queen ant that runs the nest and is the only female that reproduces in her colony.

The queen ant often can live for over a year which is considerably longer than the lives of the worker ants which only really last for a couple of months. The queen ant produces between 800 and 1,500 eggs per day which are fertilised by the sperm of the male ants which is present in the nest. Remarkably, ant eggs that have not been fertilised will still hatch but produce sterile female ants that become worker ants as they cannot reproduce.

Ants are omnivorous animals and therefore eat a mixture of both plant and animal matter. The diet of the ant primarily consists of leaves, fungi, honey, nectar, small insects and dead animals, although the exact diet of the ant depends on the species. Some ants species have a more herbivorous diet, where other species of ant mainly eat meat.

Due to their abundance and small size, ants have numerous animals that prey on them from tiny insects to reptiles, mammals and fish, and even certain species of plant have also developed ways in which they can digest them.

An ant is said to be able lift up to 50 times its own body weight, and be able to be pull more than 30 times it own body weight. This is the equivalent of an average human adult lifting a fully grown African elephant!


Ant Comments (5)

mymy

"ants are soooooo cool:0"

Michael

"colour: orange/grey are missing. Size: 1.5 mm - 3.5 mm. The queen ant produces between 800 and 1,500 eggs per day. Is abit overrated for most species. "

Anonymous

"this site is awesome for my animal facts "

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Ant Translations

Bulgarian български език
Мравки
 
Catalan Català
Formiga
 
Czech Cesky
Mravencovití
 
Danish Dansk
Myre
 
German Deutsch
Ameisen
 
English English
Ant
 
Esperanto Esperanto
Formiko
 
Spanish Español
Hormiga
 
Finnish Suomi
Muurahaiset
 
French Français
Fourmi
 
Galician Galego
Formiga
 
Hebrew עִבְרִית
נמלים
 
Croatian Hrvatski
Mravi
 
Italian Italiano
Formicidae
 
Japanese 日本語
アリ
 
Latin Latina
Formica
 
Dutch Nederlands
Mier
 
Norwegian Norsk
Maur
 
Polish Polski
Mrówkowate
 
Portuguese Português
Formiga
 
Swedish Svenska
Myror
 
Turkish Türkçe
Karınca
 
Chinese 中文
蚂蚁
 

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Ant Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Arthropoda
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Insecta
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Hymenoptera
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Formicidae
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species...
Ant
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Formicidae
Found:Worldwide
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
2mm - 25mm (0.08in - 1in)
Number of Species:
The total number of recorded species...
12,000
Average Lifespan:3 months
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Black, Red
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Shell
Favourite Food:Leaves
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Soil and cavities in wood and plants
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1,000
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Leaves, Fungi, Insects
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Insects, Echidna, Anteater
Special Features:Social insects and pincers near the mouth

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