Ten Fascinating Facts About Ants

UC Riverside experts offer Ant Trivia

Most insects, such as the Argentine ant seen here, are covered with a thin layer of hydrocarbon molecules as a waterproofing barrier. Photo credit: Mike Lewis, CISR, UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – With the release of Marvel’s newest film, Ant-Man, UC Riverside’s Suveen Mathaudhu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and expert on the science of superheroes; Dong-Hwan Choe, assistant professor of entomology whose research focuses on three major areas: urban entomology, insect behavior, and chemical ecology; and UCR entomology graduate student Kevin Welzel came up with ten interesting facts some may not know about ants.

  1. Ants are social! They work together to take care of the colony in elaborate underground labyrinths.
  2. Ants have an advanced communication system! Unlike humans that rely on sound, ants use chemicals for communication.
  3. There are 1,000 species of ants in the U.S. alone.
  4. Ants are edible. Some ants taste spicy on account of the formic acid they produce.
  5. The ant is one of the world’s strongest creatures in relation to its size. It can support up to 20 times its own body weight
  6. An ant has two stomachs, one holds food for itself, one holds food for other ants.
  7. Ants don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over the body and carbon dioxide leaves the same way.
  8. The death of the queen is a catastrophe. When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced and the workers are not able to reproduce.
  9. Ants have been around since the dinosaurs. Fossils have been found that show ants were 2.4 inches in length with six-inch wingspans.
  10. Ants will enslave other ants, keeping them captive and making them do work for the colony.

Archived under: Science/Technology, , , , , , , , ,

Top of Page