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Ants are one of the oldest living creatures in the world.
Ants are like sharks: they haven't physically changed much in millions of years. Nature came up with a near-perfect design, and left well enough alone. That ants are still successful after at least 60 millions years is proof of the old axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Ants are the strongest creature in relation to their size.
Ants can carry 10 to 20 times their body weight, and they will work together in small or large groups to move extremely heavy things.
Ants are the longest living insect.
Workers, on the average, live about one year. In some species they can live for four to five years. Some queens live longer than 20 years.
Ants are everywhere.
At any given moment there are at least 10^15 living ants on earth, 0.1 percent of a total of 10^18 total insects. The biggest ant colony found so far is on the Ishikari Coast of Hokkaido: 306,000,000 ants, with 1,080,000 queens in 45,000 interconnected nests over an area of 2.7 square kilometers. Ants are so numerous in the South American jungles they have been called "The King of Brazil," and "The actual owners of Brazil." Brazil has also been called "One great ants' nest."
Ants are highly adaptive to their environment.
When moved to a different climate or location, they quickly adapt. There are specially adapted ant species that only live in and around human dwellings. Some ant species can survive under water for up to 14 days or longer by going into something like suspended animation. Ants are resistant to hard radiation, and some ant species are highly resistant to industrial pollution. If a nuclear holocaust ever destroys our civilization, the ants will be giving the cockroaches a run for their money.
Ants modify their environment.
They regulate the temperature and humidity within their nests. They control airflow through their nests. They build mounds. They clear pathways.
Ants modify themselves.
Through a complex system of chemical communication and constant feedback, an ant colony regulates the amount of worker and soldiers, and controls the timing of production of males and fertile females. In some species, when food in plentiful, young adults are fed and fed -- stuffed until they get big and fat and become living food-storage containers.
Ants are vicious, merciless survival machines.
They breed special castes of large, powerful soldiers. Along with soldiers, worker will fight for the survival of the colony, not giving a though for personal safety or survival. Some ants even use chemical propaganda in warfare. When ants fight, there is no surrender, no mercy, no peace. They kill all the enemies and eat their babies. If it is necessary to the survival of the colony, ants will eat their own babies. Some ants steal the eggs and larvae of other species and raise them as slaves.
Ants are arguably the most successful creatures in the world. They are so numerous, and survive so well in so many places -- why haven't they taken over the world?
Because they eat each other.
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