Do ants have lungs? Ants are kind of iconic animals and sometimes are a subject of many films. They are six-legged insects with amazing abilities. They are amazing and as human beings, we can only dream of possessing them.
Ant is an animal that can be more of a nuisance than pests. Some of them even can bite badly. Ants come in 10,000 species in this world. They have existed since prehistoric times. A study from Florida and Harvard States University.
Found that ants first appeared around 130 million years ago or during the Cretaceous period. In the period, the ice age and dinosaurs were killed but ants survived. There might be other questions besides do ants have lungs? Here are the interesting facts about ants.
God bless ants with the ability to carry up to 10 times and even 50 times their body weight. But it depends on their species. For example, the Asian weaver ants can carry up 100 times their own weight. Whether you believe it or not, but the fact is that the animal is strong.
This incredible strength is due to their small size. According to Arizona State University, this strength is because of the small body that makes their muscles greater than their body size. They can generate more power.
Do Ants Have Lungs? How Do They Breathe?
They cannot accommodate a complex respiratory like human beings since they are small. Instead, they transport oxygen in their own way through their bodies.
Ants have no lungs. A series of holes around their body which are called spiracles are used by them to breathe oxygen. These spiracles help transport oxygen to almost every cell in ants’ bodies.
This is because they are connected by a network of tubes. The oxygen can circulate through the tube because of their movements. The carbon dioxide is released through the tubes as well.
How Do They Hear?
Do ants have lungs? And do they have ears? Humans can hear through their ears but ants do not. They have others hearing organ. When they are scavenging food, they use the vibrations as the alarm signal.
They make use of the vibrations in the ground to hear. Those vibrations are picked up in an organ located below their knees which is called the subgenual organ.
Ants Are Tons in This World
When describing the number of ants, using the statement “tons of ants” is an understatement. In comparison, it is estimated that for every human there are around 1 million ants in the world.
This world is pretty much dominated by this small creature. With the exception of the Arctic, Antarctica, and some islands. In every continent, at least there is one native species.
Do Ants Have Lungs: The Reproduction of Some Species is Via Cloning
Some ant species are not doing procreation with the traditional route. Amazon ants are reproducing via cloning. This is a rare occurrence.
According to research conducted by Dr. Anna Himler, the queens produce daughters by copying themselves. They produced colonies without males.
The researcher said that this reproduction had an advantage which is that the energy exerted could be reduced when reproducing males and had the double chances of females producing offspring within the caste.
Ants Farm Other Creatures
Now you know about do ants have lungs? There is still another fact. Ants are like humans that farm. They can farm other creatures. Just as humans raise sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, or fish for food sources, ants do the same.
But they do that with other insects. Aphids are the most common occurrence in this case. Aphids are protected by ants from predators. Their nests are also sheltered from heavy rain so that the ants can get the continuous honeydew supply.
Two Stomachs of Ants
Where are lungs of ants? None. But there are two stomachs in this attractive creature. This has nothing to do with greediness. The first stomach is used in their consumption to hold food. The second one also functioned to hold food but it is used to share with their colony.
This is a trophallaxis process that enables the colony to efficiently execute their works. Although there are no lungs in ants but with two stomachs, the foraging ants can feed those other who stay behind. They tend to be in charge of the colony.
Some Ants Can Swim
Some ant species can swim. Even though they have not mastered the butterfly swimming technique, they can greatly survive in water.
The question is not only do ants have lungs? But also, what is their other ability? They use the doggy paddle with their version. These ants even can float for a long time. They are great swimmers.
The Slave Makers
This is weird. Polyergus Lucidus and some species are the slave-making ants. They invade the other colonies to force them to work.
They are a group or a single species that parasites others. Those seized ants will work as what they did for their original colony and those parasite ants will only focus to replenish their workforce.
The slave-making ants come in two types: first is facultative slave-makers and second is permanent social parasite. The first type does not rely on ants being enslaved while the second type relies on them throughout their lifetime.
Ants Can Enslave the Other
Some ant species seize other species and force them to perform tasks for their colony. Even some ants can force the same species, they are Honeypot ants who enslave the other colony.
Amazonian ants or also known as Queen Polyergus, attack an unsuspecting colony of Formica ants. Some ant species take other ant species as captives then force them to work.
The Amazonian Queen seizes the Formica Queen then kills her then takes the Formica workers to be her slave. Those enslaved workers will assist the usurping queen raise her children.
When the Polyergus offspring become adults, their only goal is to invade other Formica colonies to bring their pupae back. They will ensure the steady supply of the Formica colony as their slaves.
In many ways, this incredible creature called ants can outlast, outwit, and outnumber humans. Their cooperative and complex societies allow them to thrive.
They can survive through conditions that are even challenging for any individual. Even though the answer of do ants have lungs? Is no, they are a great small creature.