10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Ants!

Do you know how strong ants are? How do they hear what happens around them? Have you ever wondered how long an ant colony lives?

Today we’re going to discover 10 extremely interesting and mind-blowing facts about those tiny cute animals called ants!

Let’s get into it!

Fact 1: Ants Are Strong!

You probably already know that ants can carry a lot of weight, right? But how much exactly?

Ants are considered to be one of the world’s strongest creatures in relation to their size! They can easily carry up to 50 times their own body weight! That’s a lot!

Formica cinerea worker inside a tube

And it’s even more if you consider that most of the time ants usually work together to move bigger objects as a group! Imagine how much weight a dozen ants can carry if they work as a team!

But how do they do that? How is it possible that such a small animal has all that strength? Well, that’s because of their muscle structure!

Their muscles have a lot greater cross-sectional area relative to their body size if compared to any other larger animals. In other words, their muscles are a lot thicker relative to their size! That’s where all their strength comes from! Cool, don’t you think?

Fact 2: Ants Are The Longest-Living Insects!

Unlike some other common bugs that only live for some weeks, days, or even hours; queen ants can live up to 30 years! That’s a lot of time for a so tiny animal! Think about it, they live longer than most pets! Longer than most dogs and cats!

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If kept in captivity, some species of ants can live an outstanding amount of time! The queen ant, who is the mother of all the members of the colony, is the longest-living ant in the colony!

Messor barbarus queen

The queen lives a lot longer than any other worker ant, soldier ant, or even male ant! That’s because if she would die, the entire colony would collapse not a long time after! In other words, the colony depends on the health of the queen!

Fact 3: Ants Are Everywhere!

Ants are one of the few animal species that can be found almost everywhere on earth! Except for Antarctica, the Arctic, and a handful of islands, you can find at least one native species of ant on every continent!

Think about it, an animal called “ant” that lives everywhere except on a continent called Antarctica. That’s one hell of a coincidence!

Ants drinking Ant Antics sugar snaps

They can be found in the country, in the mountains, at the sea… and even in some deserts! Entomologist Ted Schultz once said that the ant presence across the world is arguably the greatest success story in the history of terrestrial animals! Impressive! Don’t you think?

By the way… Do you know that you can actually keep ants as little pets? Yeah, you heard right! Ants as pets! If the idea intrigues you, I would suggest you check out this short article where I explain why you should keep ants as your tiny pets!

Fact 4: Ants Are Fast!

Fast? Really? Yes, you bet!

Some species of ants are extremely fast! So fast that they hold the record for the fastest movement in the animal kingdom!

Pheidole pallidula colony inside a test tube

The aptly named species of trap-jaw ant, which is easily recognizable by its large and peculiar mandibles, can close its jaws at 140mph! That’s really fast!

They use this natural weapon to hunt and kill their prey, who have no choice but to surrender to their inevitable destiny! Imagine if one of these ants would bite you on the tip of your finger! That would definitely not be a pleasant moment!

Fact 5: Ants Build Huge Nests!

Ants are extremely popular for their amazing-looking underground nests, made up of hundreds of intricate galleries and chambers.

Some species of ants also like to join forces with other nearby colonies, creating the so-called super colonies, which are giant hierarchical structures made up of thousands of ants!

Lasius niger colony inside a test tube

The largest ant nest ever found was over 3.7 miles wide! Found in Argentina in 2000, the ginormous colony housed 33 ant populations which had merged into one giant supercolony, with millions of nests and billions of workers! They are a lot!

If you, just like me, love these tiny cute smart animals, I would suggest you check out this short guide! In this article, I explain in detail all the various roles you can find inside an ant colony! Worker ants, male ants, queen ants, major worker ants… Everyone has their own important role!

Fact 6: Ants Don’t Have Ears!

How do ants hear what happens around them? Well, the answer is not that complicated!

Messor barbarus major

Ants use their own body as a sort of hearing mechanism, feeling the vibrations from the ground through their feet! That’s an interesting feature to have!

Given the fact that ants are extremely sensible at feeling vibrations, they actually hear amazingly well!

Fact 7: Ants Have Two Stomachs!

That’s right! Ants have two stomachs, and it’s not because they are greedy!

In fact, they are one of the most altruistic animals on the planet! One of their stomachs is dedicated to holding the food for their own consumption, and the other one is made specifically for storing some food for the rest of the colony!

Crematogaster scutellaris workers

The process of sharing the food with other members of the colony is called trophallaxis, and allows an ant colony to work extremely efficiently! It allows the ants who go out to forage to provide food for all the other members of the colony, reducing the risk of putting the queen in danger!

Fact 8: Ants Are Farmers!

You may be thinking: “what?!” What do you mean they are farmers? Let me explain!

Just like we raise cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and fish in order to obtain a food source, ants do the same with other insects! They like to farm little animals called aphids, which produce a sugary substance called honeydew!

A Tetramorium caespitum colony on some rocks

Ants go crazy for this special sugary liquid produced by the aphids, so they create actual tiny farms where they raise them and milk them! Just like we do with cows! Ain’t that fascinating?

Fact 9: Ants Are As Old As Dinosaurs!

A study from Harvard and Florida State Universities discovered that ants first rose during the Cretaceous period, around 130 million years ago! That’s the same period when dinosaurs were the dominant species on the planet!

Messor barbarus colony inside a Anthouse Acrylic NaturColor 20x10

They have survived the Cretaceous-Tertiary that killed the dinosaurs, as well as the ice age! Now they inhabit every corner of our modern world! Ants are indestructible!

If you’re starting to get interested in the amazing hobby called ant keeping, and like the idea of starting your own ant colony, you should definitely check out this other guide! In this one, I explain where you can find queen ants for sale, the most important component for starting your little ant empire!

Fact 10: There Are a Lot Of Ants In The World!

The term “a lot” is an understatement when describing the number of ants currently in existence on our planet! To put things in perspective, it is estimated that there are around 1 million ants for every human in the world! That’s a lot of ants!

A Formica cinerea colony inside a ytong nest

It is also estimated that if we were to weigh all the ants in the world, they would weigh as much as all of the people! That’s impressive if you think about how tiny ants are!

What do you think of these mind-blowing ant facts? Did you already know some of them?

In the end, we can confidently say that ants are truly fascinating creatures!

I hope you liked the article, and I hope to see you again at the next one! See ya!

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Are you new to the amazing hobby of ant keeping? Do you wanna know how to start growing your own little ant empire from scratch? If the answer is yes, you should definitely check out this guide! In this one, I explain in detail how to start ant keeping with as little as $1! That’s a steal!

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