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The Mystery of Ant Life

By Unknown - January 30, 2018

Ants are all insects of the members of the tribe of Formicidae, the Hymenoptera. Ants have more than 12,000 species (species), mostly living in the tropics. Most of the ants are known as social insects, with their colonies and regular nests consisting of thousands of ants per colony. Members of the colony are divided into worker ants, male ants, and queen ants. There may also be a group of guard ants. One colony can dominate a large area to support their lives. Ant colonies are sometimes called "superorganisms" because of their colonies that form a unity.

Despite its relatively small size, the ants are among the strongest animals in the world. Male ants are able to sustain loads weighing fifty times their own body weight, comparable to elephants that are only able to sustain loads weighing twice the weight of their own body. Ants are rivaled only by rhinoceros beetles capable of sustaining loads weighing 850 times their own body weight. Formic acid is also called "acid ant" because the ants produce this acid as a self-defense tool.

Type and spread

Ants are found on all continents except Antarctica, and only a few large islands, such as GreenlandIceland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands lack native ant species.[35][36] Ants occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or indirect herbivores, predators and scavengers. Most ant species are omnivorous generalists, but a few are specialist feeders. Their ecological dominance is demonstrated by their biomass: ants are estimated to contribute 15–20 % (on average and nearly 25% in the tropics) of terrestrial animal biomass, exceeding that of the vertebrates.[11]
Ants range in size from 0.75 to 52 millimetres (0.030–2.0 in),[37][38] the largest species being the fossil Titanomyrma giganteum, the queen of which was 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long with a wingspan of 15 centimetres (5.9 in).[39] Ants vary in colour; most ants are red or black, but a few species are green and some tropical species have a metallic lustre. More than 12,000 species are currently known (with upper estimates of the potential existence of about 22,000) (see the article List of ant genera), with the greatest diversity in the tropics. Taxonomic studies continue to resolve the classification and systematics of ants. Online databases of ant species, including AntBase and the Hymenoptera Name Server, help to keep track of the known and newly described species.[40] The relative ease with which ants may be sampled and studied in ecosystems has made them useful as indicator species in biodiversitystudies. 

Ants have controlled almost all parts of the earth on Earth. Only in places like Iceland, Greenland, and Hawaii, they do not control the area. [1] [2] As their numbers increase, they can form about 15-20% of the amount of biomass of large animals. [3]

Some types of ants are well known to humans for living together with humans, such as black ants, big ants, red ants, fire ants, and ant rangrang.
Termites are sometimes called white ants but are completely different groups of ants even though they have the same social structure.

Structure & Morphology of the Body
The body of the ant consists of three parts, namely the head, mesosoma (chest), and metasoma (stomach). The morphology of ants is quite clear compared to other insects that also have antennas, metapleural glands, and the second abdominal section associated to the stalk of ants forming a narrow waist (pedunkel) between the mesosoma (the chest cavity and the abdominal region) and metasoma (abdominal less abdominal segments in a petiole). Petioles that can be formed by one or two nodes (only the second, or second and third abdominal segments can be realized).

The body of an ant, like any other insect, has an exoskeleton or outer framework that provides protection and also as a place for attachment of muscles, in contrast to the human skeleton and vertebrae. Insects have no lungs, but they have breathing holes in the chest called spiracles for air circulation in their respiratory system. Insects also do not have a closed circulatory system. Instead, they have long, thin ducts along the upper part of their bodies called "back aorta" whose function is similar to the heart. the ant nervous system consists of a kind of ventral nerve muscle located along its body, with some ganglion and branches associated with each part of its body.

At the head of the ant there are many sensory organs. Ants, like other insects, have compound eyes consisting of a smaller collection of lenses and incorporated to detect motion very well. They also had three oselus at the top of their heads to detect light changes and polarization. [8] Most ants generally have poor eyesight, even some of them are blind. However, some ant species, such as the Australian bulldog ants, have good eyesight. On its head there is also a pair of antennas that help the ants detect chemical stimuli. Antenna ants are also used to communicate with each other and detect pheromones released by other ants. In addition, ant antennas are also useful as a touch tool to detect everything that is in front of it. At the front of the ant head there is also a pair of jaws or mandibles used to carry food, manipulate objects, build nests, and for defense. In some species, inside the mouth there is a small sac to store food for a while before being transferred to another ant or larva.

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