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Mighty Ants


They may be small, but ants are incredibly powerful.  Here are some fun facts about these small but mighty ants! 

Ant standing on leaf

There are over 12,000 ant species, and they live on every continent except Antarctica. 

Ants have 3 main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.  The head includes the eyes, mouth & brain.  The thorax is the middle part, and this is where their six legs are attached. The abdomen holds its heart, its digestive system, and reproductive organs. Some ants also have a stinger on their abdomens.  Be careful of red fire ants, their sting is painful! 

The ant is the world’s strongest creature in relation it its size. One ant can carry 50 times its own bodyweight.  They also work together to move even bigger things. 

Ants are the longest living insects, the queen of one species can live up to 30 years. 

Ants are very social and live in large groups called colonies.  Each colony has one queen ant, and she is the mother of all the other drone, worker, and soldier ants in the colony! 

Ants don’t have ears, but they can listen by feeling vibrations from the ground through their feet. They can also send out chemical signals (pheromones) to communicate with one another.  This might be done to alert other ants to danger, or to leave a trail to food sources. 

The largest ant nest ever found was 3,700 miles wide, this super colony was located in Argentina. 

The bullet ant, found in humid jungles like the Amazon, is said to have the most painful sting in the world! 

The trap jaw ant can close its jaws at 140 mph, the fastest movement made by any creature in the animal kingdom! 

In 2014, the International Space Station took some ants to observe how they would behave under very little gravity.  This information gathered is hoped to be helpful in developing search and rescue robots.