Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ant Societies

Surprisingly, ants and humans have a lot in common. Ants live in highly developed societies in which every ant has a designated role. These assigned roles assure that ant colonies are efficient and thrive. Ants are highly intelligent insects. So how do these miniscule insects that have been on earth for 92 million years – long before humans – survive and thrive in their colonies?

A team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside, reported that ants work together, much like humans, in response to emergency situations. In this particular study, they found that ants are adept at linking their bodies to create chains, or rafts, to float in the case of a flood. Brilliant method to ensure survival.

Another team of scientists from the University of Melbourne Australia learned that ants use their antennae as a method of two-way communication, much like walkie-talkies. And, that through complex chemical reactions, they have adapted how they can communicate who is a friend or foe.

All of this productive work does leave ants exhausted, though. Every ant colony has its fair share of lazy workers. But make no mistake, a brief period of laziness doesn’t mean that ants aren’t productive. Ants are easily trained and even the laziest of workers will eventually tow the line.

It’s humbling to realize that ants, some of which are so small the human eye can easily miss, a species of insect that have already survived a mass extinction, can exist in such an organized manner.