27 Ants Facts They Didn’t Teach You in School
You walk into the kitchen to grab a snack, and out of the corner of your eye, you see them – a trail of ants marching in to sneak off with every last crumb on your countertops. Okay ants, if you want a fight, you’ve got one. But to win the war, you need to find out everything you can about these pests.
We answer your most pressing questions about ants, so you can get the facts – and get them out of your home for good.
Are Ants Insects?
Are ants animals, or insects? Ants are insects.
Red ants (a.k.a. fire ants) are a completely different story. These guys will bite and sting. They even attack small animals and have been known to kill them. Fire ants bite their victim just to grab onto them, and then sting them. The stinger injects a toxic venom known as Solenopsin.
Do Ants Have Brains?
Yes, they do – but they’re very tiny. To put it into perspective, ants have 250,000 brain cells. Humans have a whopping 10 million. Collectively, an entire colony of ants has the same size brain as a single human.
But ants still use their small brains very wisely.
Researchers at Arizona State University found one species of ants actually sends out scouts to look for new homes. The scouts report back to the colony, and the colony votes on whether or not to move there. Even ants can be democratic.
Scouts go out looking for homes, and if they find something they like, they send out a pheromone message, essentially telling others to “follow me.” Another ant joins the scout to check out the place as part of what researchers call tandem running. Basically, the scout ant acts like a realtor, showing the other ant the new place.
Each ant that follows sends out another message if they approve of the home. Eventually, all of the remaining colony members follow if enough scouts vote in favor of the location.
Ants may not have large brains, but they succeed in doing something most humans struggle with: working together.
Do Ants Have Eyes?
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Shared from pestwiki.com