25 Reasons That Ants Are Awesome

Posted by , Updated on May 2, 2016

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You probably don’t think about them very much. They’re small and there’s a ton of them in your front yard. Ok, so you do think of them, but mainly just when you want to mow your yard and those pesky little creatures start scattering everywhere. But with ants there is much more than meets the eye. In order to see what we mean, we’re going to have to zoom in for a much closer look at these interesting little critters. First of all, did you know that ants are one of the only other creatures besides humans that have successfully managed to domesticate other creatures? What’s more, they don’t just domesticate other animals, they also take slaves and wage war using some extremely advanced tactics. You probably would never have thought that much about these little creatures right? Well next time you see them scampering about in your yard you’ll probably be reminded of how interesting they can be. Did you know that some ants are ridiculously good at math? They will find their way back to the nest by adding and subtracting vectors in their head! There’s more to come though, as these are 25 reasons that ants are awesome!

Featured Image: wikipedia

25

A recent study found that about 20% of ants are useless. They are called "lazy ants"

A recent study found that about 20% of ants are useless. They are called "lazy ants"Source: japantimes.co.jp, Image: wikipedia
24

Because of his work as a conservationist, there is an ant species named after Harrison Ford. It is called Pheidole harrisonfordi.

Because of his work as a conservationist, there is an ant species named after Harrison Ford. It is called Pheidole harrisonfordi.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

With an average lifespan of 28 years, queen ants live longer than almost any other insect

With an average lifespan of 28 years, queen ants live longer than almost any other insectSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

When ants die, they give off a chemical that tells other ants they are dead and need to be moved away to a burial ground.

When ants die, they give off a chemical that tells other ants they are dead and need to be moved away to a burial ground.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
21

If you spray a living ant with this same chemical, the other ants will treat the sprayed ant as if it is dead no matter what it does

If you spray a living ant with this same chemical, the other ants will treat the sprayed ant as if it is dead no matter what it doesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

20

Researchers at Stanford found that the protocols harvester ants use while foraging for food are virtually identical to the protocols that control traffic on the internet. It has been called the "anternet"

Researchers at Stanford found that the protocols harvester ants use while foraging for food are virtually identical to the protocols that control traffic on the internet. It has been called the "anternet"Source: news.stanford.edu, Image: wikipedia
19

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a fungus that grows inside some species of ant. After 10 days it kills the ant and spores explode out of the ant's head on a long stalk

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a fungus that grows inside some species of ant. After 10 days it kills the ant and its spores explode out of its head on a long stalkSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

Some species of carpenter ants can explode as a last line of defense. They contract their abs which ruptures their internal organs and lets loose an explosion of immobilizing and gooey guts

Some species of carpenter ants can explode as a last line of defense. They contract their abs which ruptures their internal organs and lets loose an explosion of immobilizing and gooey gutsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
17

Ant jaws can be so strong that some indigenous tribes use them as sutures. They get the ant to bite down around the wound and then break off the ant's body

Ant jaws can be so strong that some indigenous tribes use them as sutures. They get the ant to bite down around the wound and then break off the ant's bodySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
16

Only two species on Earth have ever domesticated other species...humans and ants

Only two species on Earth have ever domesticated other species...humans and antsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
15

There are 14 species of ants that are known to enslave or use other species of ants

There are 14 species of ants that are known to enslave or use other species of antsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
14

Leaf cutter ants don't actually cut leaves. They give the leaves to fungi in their nest and then feed off of what the fungi secrete

Leaf cutter ants don't actually cut leaves. They give the leaves to fungi in their nest and then feed off of what the fungi secreteSource: reed.edu, Image: wikipedia
13

Crows crush ants and rub the ant's guts all over themselves. Apparently ant guts protect against parasites

Crows crush ants and rub the ant's guts all over themselves. Apparently ant guts protect against parasitesSource: avesnoir.com, Image: wikipedia
12

Male ants don't have fathers but females do. This is because unfertilized eggs become male, while fertilized eggs become female.

Male ants don't have fathers but females do. This is because unfertilized eggs become male, while fertilized eggs become female.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

Phengaris rebeli is a butterfly whose larvae pretend to be ant larvae so that worker ants will feed them. The larvae then ascend the "ant ranks" by mimicking the sound that the queen ant would make.

Phengaris rebeli is a butterfly whose larvae pretend to be ant larvae so that worker ants will feed them. The larvae then ascend the "ant ranks" by mimicking the sound that the queen ant would make.Source: wikipedia
10

Oftentimes when the real queen ants attack the butterfly larvae, the confused worker ants will defend the larvae and kill their own queen

Oftentimes when the real queen ants attack the butterfly larvae, the confused worker ants will defend the larvae and kill their own queenSource: wikipedia
9

When Joan Murray's parachute failed while she was skydiving she crashed into an anthill going 130 km per hour. Doctors think that being stung by ants hundreds of times actually kept her heart beating due to an immense surge of adrenaline

When Joan Murray's parachute failed while she was skydiving she crashed into an anthill going 130 km per hour. Doctors think that being stung by ants hundreds of times actually kept her heart beating due to an immense surge of adrenalineSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
8

Ants practice something called "social immunization". When one of the ants in the colony is infected with a fungus, they proceed to lick the ant which kills some spores and spreads immunity around the colony

Ants practice something called "social immunization". When one of the ants in the colony is infected with a fungus, they proceed to lick the ant which kills some spores and spreads immunity around the colonySource: scientificamerican.com, Image: wikipedia
7

Ants are very advanced in how they wage war. They have spies, skirmishers, and will even put their weaker fighters in the front so that the stronger ones can be saved for when the enemy is weak

Ants are very advanced in how they wage war. They have spies, skirmishers, and will even put their weaker fighters in the front so that the stronger ones can be saved for when the enemy is weakSource: wired.com, Image: wikipedia
6

Because they lack significant mass, an ant cannot be injured after falling from a height, even if you throw it out of an airplane

Because they lack significant mass, an ant cannot be injured after falling from a height, even if you throw it out of an airplaneSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
5

Biologist Sir John Lubbock did some interesting experiments on ants during the 1800s. He found that sober ants would carry drunken friends (members of their colony) back to the nest but would throw strangers into the water

Biologist Sir John Lubbock did some interesting experiments on ants during the 1800s. He found that sober ants would carry drunken friends (members of their colony) back to the nest but would throw strangers into the waterSource: wikisource.org, Image: wikipedia
4

Solenopsis daguerrei is a parasitic ant species that infiltrates fire ant colonies, kills the queen, and takes her place. The worker ants raise the fake queen's kids and those children eventually fly away to infect other colonies

Solenopsis daguerrei is a parasitic ant species that infiltrates fire ant colonies, kills the queen, and takes her place. The worker ants raise the fake queen's kids and those children eventually fly away to infect other coloniesSource: wikipedia
3

Sahara Desert Ants find their way back to the nest after foraging by adding and subtracting vectors in their heads. This leads to the shortest route home

Sahara Desert Ants find their way back to the nest after foraging by adding and subtracting vectors in their heads. This leads to the shortest route homeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
2

Flying ants are not a distinct species of ant. Rather, they are ants that are ready to mate. Shortly after mating, however, they die.

Flying ants are not a distinct species of ant. Rather, they are ants that are ready to mate. Shortly after mating, however, they die.Source: wisegeek, Image: pixabay
1

These mating ants are only birthed by the queen about once per year. The vast majority of ants that you see are sterile, wingless, female worker ants

These mating ants are only birthed by the queen about once per year. The vast majority of ants that you see are sterile, wingless, female worker antsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

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