Ants are the most amazing creatures on Earth!
Ants are Greatest Success Story
Ants are arguably the greatest success story in the history of the animal kingdom. For every human there are about one million ants. In tropical regions where ants are very common, their weight can exceed that of ground living ‘vertebrates’ (animals with backbones) by up to four times!
A Giant Ant Colony
A giant colony of invasive Argentinian ants stretching 3750 miles has been discovered in Europe posing a major threat to local animals and crops. Although they exist in their usual smaller group size in their homeland, the colonies have merged to create one massive super colony.
The Jaws or Mandibles
The jaws or ‘mandibles’ of trap jaw ant Odontomachus bauri have been recorded to shut at speeds of 140 mph. This system can exert forces 300 times its own weight. It can be used to kill or damage prey and in times of danger it can push its head to the ground to fling itself away.
The Ant Database
The ant database ‘antbase’ provides access to all the recorded ant species in the world. As of 03 Mar 2010 it has logged 12,565 different species of ants. New species are continually being discovered. It is estimated that there could be around 22,000 different species at this moment in time.
The FDA Estimates
The FDA estimates that more than $5 billion is spent annually on medical treatment, damage, and control of invasive RIFA (red imported fire ant) infested areas. Furthermore, the ants cause approximately $750 million in damage to agricultural assets, including vet bills and livestock loss as well as crop loss. We currently use bio-control methods to keep these pest ants from further invasion.