The Small, But Inspiring World of Ants

There are over 12,000 species of ants. Powered by highly organized social structures, ants have the ability to build and defend their colonies with incredible precision. Colonies can be made up of thousands of ants and each member works tirelessly to ensure its species' success. Roles include rearing offspring, farming crops, and even waging wars on other organisms. Ants will protect their colonies at all costs, including the use of chemical warfare to get the job done. With all that it can accomplish, an ant colony is often considered a superorganism. Take a tour of one of these subterranean cities below and then spend some time discovering the inspiring world of ants.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Birds allow ants to crawl all over their bodies to help combat parasites. 00:28

  2. Millipedes are full of benzoquinones, which is an insecticide many times more toxic than any bug repellent. 01:47

  3. Jaguars eat yage, which is a vine that causes intense hallucinations. 02:55

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Ants without wings are all female. 01:08

  2. The bullet ant is so named because its sting is so painful, it feels like you've been shot by a gun. 03:49

  3. Army ants can develop tusks so large that they cannot feed themselves, and must rely on other ants to place food into their mouths. 05:29

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Leafcutter ants live in the soil, but forage way up high in the canopies of trees. 00:12

  2. Leafcutter ants grow their own crops using chunks of leaves in order to sustain themselves. 01:00

  3. Ants have harnessed the microbes to make antibiotics for themselves long before humans did. 01:47

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Queen ants are the only ones who can reproduce within a given colony. 01:13

  2. To help navigate, ants release a hormone trail to guide them between hunting and home. 01:33

  3. Driver ants are some of the most aggressive in the world. 02:53

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Written By
Curiosity Staff
August 24, 2015