Eveything about ants Great essay
All About Ants (almost)
Among the many hundreds of thousands of astonishing organisms with which we must share this earth, there is one seemingly ordinary group of specimens which fascinates many people beyond all others. There is nothing too extraordinary in the proportions or appearance of ants, but it is their history and culture that induces a second look. These insects are about as different from us mammals as two organisms can be, yet it appears that of all the known animals their way of life appears closest to our human way of life. The similarities in the ways in which we organize our lives are astounding. Ants are doubtlessly the most successful of all the social insects of the Hymenoptera, an order also including wasps and bees.
The earliest known specimens are found entombed in the Scandinavian Baltic Amber samples which scientists date in upwards of 100 million years old (The Ant Colony Oe89).
These primitive samples have evolved into the 5000 to 10000 species known today which vary amongst themselves as widely as the numbers suggest (Social Insects Oe68). These remarkably adaptive creatures are found in some form on all continents and all habitats but the extreme arctics. Their success is manifested in the claim that at any time there are at least 1 quadrillion living ants on earth(Groliers Oe93).
All species of ants are social. They live in organized communities or colonies, which may contain anywhere from a few hundred to more than 20 million individuals. These are organized into a complex system which may contain two or more castes and sub castes which can be roughly organized into three groups. Queens, males and workers.
The queen is much larger than the other ants, and has wings until mating. Her primary...