Although their bodies are minute, ants are some of the most powerful creatures in the animal kingdom. Their strength and intelligence are underestimated by larger predators and only recently understood by scientists. A single ant does not seem very threatening, but when the creatures work as an organized collective, they can infiltrate buildings, raid food supplies and wreak havoc on building materials. Ant removal technicians have found colonies that have taken over entire yards. You can learn more about the impressive lives of ants in these passages.
Have you ever seen an ant carry a large crumb or insect carcass across the ground? Their strength seems to defy the laws of physics, but their bodies are perfectly capable of lifting items weighing over 50 times their body weight. Unlike other insects and animals, the body of an ant has a greater surface area relative to its mass. The muscles underneath it’s tough exoskeleton account for most of the insect’s weight, and it requires little effort for an ant to lift heavy objects and carry them back to the mound.
An ant’s neck has small ridges or bumps that also provide support for lifting duties. Researchers recently discovered neck bumps, and some believe that prior estimates of an ant’s neck strength were too low. Scientists previously believed that ants could travel with objects 1000 times their weight, but they changed the figure to 5000 times their weight with the discovery. However, the claim that ants can only lift 50 times their weight has not changed.
Incredible Digging Ability
If humans had the building skills of ants, contractors would not worry about labour shortages. If left undisturbed, an ant mound can expand until it covers an entire garden or interior space. The queen spends her life laying millions of eggs and directs female worker ants to maintain the mound’s structure and bring food to the population. Although tiny mounds are not a threat to humans, massive fire ant colonies have caused fatalities.
The size of the mound varies depending on the species, but scientists have discovered immense supercolonies that can cover several hundred acres. In the forests of Ethiopia, the Lepisiota canescens ant ravages the landscape with its supercolonies. The ant’s ability to quickly construct large mounds has government officials, and environmentalists worried it could become a globally invasive species.
Although their intelligence is not as impressive as their strength, ants are smarter than you think. Ants leave a pheromone trail when they’re scouting for food so other soldier ants can pick up on the scent and transport food to the colony more efficiently. When they build a colony near a plant that provides food and shelter, the ants protect the plant by attacking insects and animals that try to consume it.
If the mound is attacked, the queen forces the soldier ants to use their heads to plug any holes in the mound to protect the structure. Ants defend their home voraciously, and if a nearby colony of a different species threatens their existence, they kill the ants and steal their eggs. They bring the eggs back to their mound and enslave the newborn ants to perform foraging and defence for the colony.
Most worker ants live less than 60 days, but they can accomplish a great deal in that time. Ants work together to gather food, build mounds and defend the colony from attackers. One of the most notable acts of teamwork occurs when the mound is inundated with rainwater. The Queen directs her brood to join together in a large mass so they can float when the mound floods.
Truly Nolen Can Help With Ant Problems
If you have an ant issue on your property, contact Truly Nolen for pest control services. We can eradicate the colony and prevent a future infestation.