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Tuesday, November 26, 2019


The ant at work

The ant at work

In reality, the intelligence of a man is above any animal or an insect but examining the effectiveness of certain insects, such as a bee and an ant, we can’t dispute the fact that the most intelligent insect can rightly be considered an ant, because it is one of the few hard-working social insects.

Ants gather in large groups and accept smaller colonies to be slaves. They are intelligent creatures to navigate their environment and the weather. They go to war against each other, know how to protect and defend themselves, by using tactics and strategies.

According to a study, the ants know how to heal themselves. The ant, infected with the spores of the parasite fungus, transfers to the healthy ants a small number of spores which is not enough for a full infection, but strengthens their immune system.

The body temperature of ants changes in response to the atmospheric temperature. In winter, their body temperature falls so greatly that their movements inevitably grow sluggish. Therefore, they hibernate restlessly in relatively warm places, such as the soil or under the bark of trees.

Depending on the environmental conditions, there can be several queens in the anthill, polygamy or monogamy. There may be several ants that act as the queen and often arrange fights among themselves, trying to hit each other with antennas. 

Such fights do not cause significant damage to the females, however, the working ants watching them make their choice in favor of one of them, after which they kill the rest.  

Ants are able to communicate by explaining to each other the path to food, they can count and perform simple arithmetic operations. 

For example, when a scout ant finds food in a specially designed maze, they return and explain how to get to it to other ants. If you remove the pheromone trace at this time, the relatives of the scout will still find food. 

In another experiment, a scout searches the labyrinth of many identical branches, and after communication, other insects immediately run to the indicated branch.  

Ants communicate using odours because their glands produce pheromones in different concentrations for different messages. 

If an ant stumbles upon its own pheromone trail, the insect will walk in a circle until it is completely exhausted, condemned to this fate its brethren will follow its trail. This phenomenon is called: ant-hill, the spiral of death, a carousel of death, or ant circles.

For the reason that ants communicate with smells, they cannot distinguish between a dead and a living ant. They understand the difference only when the dead begins to decompose.

However, not all ants have a permanent residence. There are roving ants. They live in the tropics of Africa, as well as in Central and South America. Sometimes African roving ants come together in huge colonies of up to twenty million and usually they move very fast. 

It is very interesting to observe how roving nomad ants move. They look like a living river flowing in a direction known only to them. Where they meet a large pool, they stick to each other to form a bridge and cross over.

Such a column of nomads stretches on average up to one or two meters. When staying for the night, the queen, together with the larvae, remains in the center, and the remaining ants, clinging to each other with their paws, form a large ball, approximately one meter in diameter.

These nomads, it seems, do not get tired of the exhausting crossings. They can travel up to three hundred kilometers per day and despite how tiny and small, they can carry along objects twice much bigger than them. 

Temporary sites are made by them only so that the queen of ant will lay eggs and then everyone sets off again. Why they do not want to settle in one place, build a house and lead a measured lifestyle? It is a big mystery. 

But the fact we can't ignore is the ants are not only intelligent but are hard-working creatures that will dwell on this earth forever.

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