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We have known ants since childhood, they are described in fairy tales and poems as tireless, kind and extremely hard-working insects. We meet them in the woods, in the city, in the country and do not even pay attention to their existence until they begin to interfere with us. The scale of the disaster is visible with a large number of ants only to those who are actively engaged in gardening and horticulture. These insects spread at the speed of light, if within reach are berries, sweet roots, fallen fruit. But even in a high-rise building ants can live and from there they move to apartments, where the chances of eating something tasty increase many times over. Nevertheless, ants remain industrious and loyal to their queen insects. The ability of the ants to perform various tasks during their life cycle, their diverse genome, devotion to younger population, and strong physique make them some of the most adaptable species on Earth.
General Information About Ants
Ants live in colonies in the ground, in crevices in your walls, on trees, and there is even a species like army ants that fight during the day and build a temporary nest at night and move there the next day. There are about 8,800 species of ants in the world, they are very diverse; so large forest red ants are very different from small black ants, which often live near people. Black and forest ants do not have stings, but they can release a stream of formic acid. Some birds use ants to get rid of parasites (Ng 3104). Hence, ants serve a rather multifunctional person in nature. They are highly adaptable and can essentially sustain in any environment.
There are several species of ants, such as the well-known Formica anthill ants. From the outside, the anthill looks like a normal pile of sand, a small mound with a crater in the middle, like a bull's eye. In the wild, you can find massive ant hills that look like large piles of mud a few meters high, it can range from an inch to over 10 feet. Other known species of ants include yellow meadow ants, fire ants and combine ants, to name a few (Ng 3102). Their diverse genome is one of the prime reasons for their adaptability. Different species live in different environments, however, in many cases, whenever the environment changes, the insects can adapt to it.
Ants build hills to protect their queen and their larvae, worker ants dig underground tunnels and carry land they do not need on their backs and dump it at the entrance. This creates piles or mounds outside the entrance to the anthill. Inside the anthill is a very complex structure and has many tunnels that connect many chambers of different sizes for different purposes. These rooms can be used as nurseries, for storing food and even places for resting working ants. Worker ants move the larvae into rooms closer to the top of the anthill to keep warm during the day, and at night they move them to lower chambers to protect (“Ant Life Cycle”). Hence, the devotion to their younger population makes ants not only adaptable but also largely protected from extinction of a particular colony.
As other insects, ants have six legs, three joints on each and their legs are very strong, designed to quickly move heavy objects and work. If an ant were the size of a human, it would move at the speed of a racehorse. Ants are able to lift twenty times their own weight. Also, ants always move in order and unmistakably find their way to their nest. This is due to the fact that ants leave a trail of pheromones, which are then guided and learn about the well-being of their queen. Ants are able to explain to each other the way to food, are able to count and perform the simplest arithmetic operations. For example, when a scout ant finds food in a specially designed maze, he returns and explains how to get to it to other ants. If at this time to replace the maze with a similar one, i.e. to remove the pheromone trail, the relatives of the scout will still find food (“Ant Life Cycle”). Evidently, ants’ physical attributes, such as their strong physique and pheromone trails along with their intellectual capabilities make them largely adaptable to many environments, regardless of whether they are natural or not.
Black ants are harmless to humans, even a large number of them are not dangerous, but red ants are different. Their bites are quite painful, people with hypersensitivity to them have an allergic reaction in the form of redness, swelling and severe itching. Massive lesions of the skin with formic acid require antihistamines and local treatment with antiseptics. In Africa and America, there are so-called war ants, which kill everything in their path, and from which even lions escape. So, having a small size, ants are dedicated and very hard-working insects.
"Ant Life Cycle". Ask A Biologist, 2022, https://askabiologist.asu.edu/individual-life-cycle.
Ng, C. Y. "Green Product Design and Development Using Life Cycle Assessment and Ant Colony Optimization". The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol 95, no. 5-8, 2017, pp. 3101-3109. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-017-1445-0. Accessed 14 Apr 2022.
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