- Ants are social insects and most live in colonies which can be extremely large consisting of millions of members. There are about 20,000 different species of ants and they can be found almost anywhere and in every biome.
- There are three different kinds of ants. The queen is the first kind and she has one purpose – to mate. She spends her entire life laying eggs. The second kind of ant is the male who mates with the queen and they don’t live very long. The third kind of ant is the female worker and she cannot produce young but she is the one that builds the mounds and supplies the colony with food.
- Most ants build some type of mound to live in. Many dig their mounds in the dirt or sand. Some use twigs to make them stronger. Some ants live in fallen logs or trees. Most ants build a system of tunnels under their mound which connect rooms, or chambers, they use for specific purposes. Some of the chambers are used to store food and some are used as nurseries. The rooms are used as resting places for the worker.
- The ant’s body is made up of three part – the head, trunk and metasoma, or rear.
- Each ant has six legs that are attached to the trunk.
- An ant has eyes that allow them to see extremely well because of the many lenses.
- An ant’s antennae are also very special. They allow the ant to hear, taste, touch and smell. Ants use their antennae to touch one another, which is the way they communicate.
- Ants do not have lungs so they breathe through tiny holes all over their body. The the blood inside an ant travels through one long tube that runs from its head to its rear. The nerve cord also runs from the head of the ant to its rear.
- When ant colonies are moving or when they have found a source of food, ants leave a scent trail for other ants to follow, and this happens when an ant secretes a chemical called a pheromone.
- Ants have been able to survive on the earth for more than 100 million years. Not many other species have been able to adapt as well as the ant in order to survive as long.
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